General Federation of Trade Unions
RECORD PROFITS FOR GAS COMPANY
Posted on Thursday, July 31, 2008
Centrica declares £992m profits
Centrica, British Gas parent company has reported higher-than-expected profits of £992m and raised its dividend, the day after it announced its biggest ever price rises for 16 million customers.The first-half results and the 16% hike in the dividend payment to shareholders led Patrick South at Age Concern to say "Many pensioners will be shocked that while they are worrying about how to afford to heat their homes this winter such significant profits are being made and shareholders are getting a substantial dividend."
He added: "Energy companies say they can’t absorb wholesale price rises, but in light of their profits this will sound hollow to the one-in-three pensioners likely to be in fuel poverty this winter."
Centrica raised gas bills by 35% and electricity prices by 9% from the end of July. The company said the era of cheap energy is over and called on customers to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.