British Gas reports numerous losses during first half of 2019

Centrica boss Iain Conn resigns amidst profit and customer losses

British Gas reports numerous losses during first half of 2019

Centrica’s interim results for the first half of 2019, released on Tuesday, reported a pre-tax loss of £446 million, compared to a £704m profit made in the same period last year.

On the same day, Centrica announced that its CEO Iain Conn would be stepping down and then retiring from the company’s board next year.

British Gas, a subsidiary of Centrica, lost 178,000 customer accounts in the first half of 2019.

Victoria Arrington, a spokesperson for energyhelpline, said: “The customer exodus from the Big Six continues – with 178,000 leaving British Gas in the first 6 months of 2019. energyhelpline estimates that the Big Six will lose 1 million customers during 2019. This trend has been fueled by more competition and easier switching.

“UK consumers can compare and choose from over 70 suppliers – and a switch only takes minutes to get going and a few weeks to complete.

The significant impact on Centrica’s profits has been attributed to the government’s energy price cap increase, which was further raised in April and left consumers £117 a year worse off.

"Profits have also been hit by the price cap, which forced down suppliers’ standard prices in the first quarter of the year, putting a big squeeze on them.

“Centrica might be hoping for a better second half to the year,  but with the price cap expected to be reduced in early August they will be relying on their services division to make the profits.”

 

Greener, low-carbon future for Big Six suppliers

Last month, British Gas and SSE pledged to replace its entire fleet of engineer vans with electric vehicles by 2030.

Climate change concerns around the world coupled with the UK government’s own ambitions to transition to a low-carbon economy have been fuelling British consumer and supplier trends toward greener energy.

"The company is investing more into low carbon energy. This year so far, 50 per cent of energyhelpline customers have switched to a green tariff.

“As going green becomes more financially viable, Centrica could be able to win back business with new eco offerings. However with the retail market tougher than ever, it might not be ‘easy being green’ for the British Gas owner."

 

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Source: BBC News

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