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British Gas first-half profits jump almost 10-fold

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Centrica has reported an virtually 10-fold surge in first-half earnings at British Gasoline, the UK’s largest family vitality provider.

Margins at British Gasoline, which has about 7.5mn clients, have been boosted by greater gasoline and electrical energy costs, the corporate mentioned on Thursday because it set out plans to extend its dividend and prolong a share buyback plan.

The London-listed firm intends to pay an interim dividend of 1.33 pence per share, up 33 per cent from the identical interval final yr. It would additionally prolong its share buyback programme by an extra £450mn.

Centrica’s chief govt Chris O’Shea mentioned the corporate would spend an additional £50mn on serving to susceptible clients, taking its whole on the programme to £100mn because the begin of 2022.

Payments have fallen because the peak of the vitality disaster final yr when wholesale costs surged, however are nonetheless far greater than regular.

Below regulator Ofgem’s present worth cap, which limits how a lot suppliers can cost for vitality, typical households can pay £2,074 a yr, nicely above the pre-crisis common of £1,150.

Adjusted working earnings at British Gasoline surged to £969mn within the first six months of this yr, up from £98mn within the first half of 2022. Total, Centrica reported an adjusted working revenue of £2.1bn within the half, up from £1.3bn in 2022.

Earnings at British Gasoline have been additionally buoyed by about £500mn after Ofgem allowed the corporate to get well losses incurred when the value cap set by the vitality regulator was too low to completely account for prices confronted by suppliers.