Centrica Profits Plunge on Energy Price Cap, Lower Gas Prices

Profits at British utility Centrica slumped 35% last year, hit by a government price cap on some energy bills and the impact of lower natural gas prices on its production business, sending its shares down as much as 17% on Thursday, Reuters reported. The company, whose British Gas unit is Britain’s largest energy supplier, said adjusted operating profit fell to 901 million pounds from 1.39 billion pounds in 2018. “2019 operating profit and earnings were materially impacted by a challenging environment, most significantly the implementation of the UK default tariff cap and falling natural gas prices,” said chief executive Iain Conn in a statement. “Looking to 2020, we expect to deliver earnings momentum relative to 2019 from our core customer divisions, but upstream (production) earnings are likely to be impacted by the lower commodity price environment.” Read more