All is not well at Britain’s biggest energy supplier. Centrica’s shares suffered their biggest one-day fall on Thursday after a profit warning and are down 40 per cent over the year to date, with questions swirling about the dividend. The core of Centrica is British Gas, which supplies gas to a third of UK homes and electricity to more than a fifth. Combined with a services business offering boiler repairs, the overall “UK Home” division accounted for £810 million of Centrica’s adjusted operating profit last year of £1.5 billion. The supply business has been losing customers since 2010 amid fierce competition — it lost more than 820,000 accounts in the four months to October — and is facing the threat of a government price cap that is expected to squeeze profits from the majority of its customers on standard variable tariffs. British Gas is Britain’s biggest supplier of gas to businesses, by custome r numbers, and the second biggest of electricity, but this division contributed only about £50 million to profit last year and Centrica has warned that it will merely break even this year.
Times 25th Nov 2017 read more »