British Gas owner Centrica made record profits last year as energy bills soar

In 2022, Centrica’s adjusted earnings per share rose significantly, increasing eight times to 34.9p from 4.1p in the previous year.

The company’s adjusted operating profit was £2.8bn, but this figure excludes the £485m earned from the sale of Spirit Energy’s Norwegian assets in May. Centrica anticipates that it will pay windfall taxes amounting to £2.8bn by 2028.

Despite British Gas Energy’s 4% increase in residential energy customers, the company’s adjusted operating profit dropped by 39% to £72m compared to the previous year. On the other hand, British Gas Services experienced an adjusted operating loss of £9m in 2022, a significant decrease from its profit of £121m in 2021.

Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, has reported record profits of £3.3bn as household bills surged during the energy crisis triggered by Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine. This is more than triple the adjusted operating profit of £949m last year, while earnings per share increased eightfold. After cancelling the payout due to the pandemic, Centrica has rewarded shareholders with a full-year dividend of 3p per share.

However, the company is under increasing pressure over its customer treatment, as energy bills have increased during the cost of living crisis. An analysis by the Telegraph found that British Gas customers who did not set up a direct debit were being charged an additional £482m annually. Additionally, Centrica has been criticized for sending debt agents to vulnerable customers’ homes to install prepayment meters as bills reached record highs, as revealed by The Times.

Furthermore, average household energy bills are expected to increase by £500 in April when the government raises its cap to £3,000 from its current level of £2,500. TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak stated that while millions of families struggle to heat their homes, companies like Centrica are making monster profits.

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