Shares in British Gas parent Centrica slumped to a 16-year low on Thursday after the group warned a national price cap on energy bills, a fall in nuclear output and lower volumes at its oil and gas division would hit its 2019 results. Centrica said a regulator-imposed cap on standard energy prices would lead to a £300 million hit to profits in 2019, including a one-off impact of about £70 million in the first quarter of 2019. Late last year Centrica, whose British Gas unit is Britain’s largest energy supplier, said it would seek a judicial review of the way regulator Ofgem calculated part of the price cap, which was initially set around 6 percent lower than British Gas’s standard variable tariff.
Reuters 21st Feb 2019 read more »
The owner of British Gas, Centrica, lost about three-quarters of a million customers last year and warned it will take a £300m hit from the government’s price cap on energy bills. Shares in Britain’s biggest energy company dropped more than 10% after the company lowered its cashflow outlook for 2019, leading investors to fear Centrica’s dividend could be cut. Iain Conn, the chief executive, said the group faced a “huge number of headwinds”, including the price cap, reduced gasfield production and several of its nuclear power plants being offline. The company lost 742,000 of its 25 million household energy customers last year, although the figure is about half the losses in 2017. While the group’s profits were up 12% in 2018 to £1.39bn, its home energy unit profits fell 18% to £668m. Centrica is also trying to sell its 20% stake in the UK’s eight nuclear power plants but would only say the sale was progressing as planned. “We’ve had expressions of interest from a number of parties,” Conn said.
Guardian 21st Feb 2019 read more »