Posted: Thu 16th Feb 2023

British Gas owner Centrica reports record profits

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Feb 16th, 2023

Centrica, the company that owns British Gas, has announced record profits for their 2022 financial year, with operating profits of £3.3bn, up from £948m in 2021.

This surpassed the previous highest ever yearly profit of £2.7bn, posted in 2012, and was helped by high energy prices.

Energy companies have seen record earnings since oil and gas prices surged following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The majority of Centrica’s profits have come from its oil, gas and nuclear business, rather than from the British Gas energy supply business, which contributed £72m out of the £3.3bn profit.

Despite the company’s strong financial results, British Gas faced criticism after an investigation revealed that debt collectors working on behalf of the company forced their way into homes of vulnerable customers, including people with disabilities.

The company also became subject to the 45% windfall tax on electricity generators.

Chris O’Shea, Group Chief Executive

“Our performance in 2022 demonstrates the benefits of our balanced portfolio and our strong balance sheet.

“The energy crisis and cost of living pressures have created a challenging environment for customers and communities, but we have been able to provide much needed stability and support.”

“We invested £75m in supporting our energy customers in 2022, which was greater than the £8 post-tax profit per customer earned by British Gas Energy. ”

“Whilst customers may see some relief given recent easing of prices, it remains clear that some will continue to need help and we will do what we can to support them in the year ahead.”

Commenting on the results, TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak said: “Britain’s energy market is broken.”

“While millions of families struggle to heat their homes, firms like Centrica are raking in monster profits.

“It is time to bring energy retail companies into public ownership.

“Privatisation has been a disaster for hard-pressed households.”

“The only real winners have been shareholders who have creamed off hundreds of millions in dividends.”

“That’s why the TUC is calling for the government to set up a public energy company to lower bills.”

Unite union general secretary Sharon Graham said:

British Gas owner Centrica has been coining it in from our massive energy bills while sending bailiffs to prey on vulnerable consumers the length and breadth of the country.

These energy companies are showing us everything that is wrong with the UK’s broken economy.

Rishi Sunak should get a grip – pull the plug on rampaging energy profiteering, impose a meaningful, tough windfall tax and give the NHS a pay rise with the proceeds.

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