Record profits are a gas

Centrica has announced record annual profits of £1.5 billion, an 11 per cent increase over the previous year.

The company owns British Gas, which recently revealed plans for a 22 per cent increase in consumer bills. Centrica defended the profits as coming from gas production and storage, whereas British Gas saw a loss of 63%.

Centrica said in their results statement, “Wholesale commodity prices escalated to unprecedented levels in 2005 creating considerable challenges for management in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Against this background we delivered a strong financial performance in the year.”

2005 saw Centrica acquire Dutch energy retailer Oxxio and a controlling stake in SPE, a Belgian generator. It also sold Onetel.