Nov 23, 2017

British Gas owner Centrica warns about poor trading

Owner Centrica said 150,000 of those accounts had switched to other providers, some of them because it raised prices in September. The news, unveiled in a warning about poor trading, sent Centrica shares tumbling by 17%. Centrica said operating profits would be "Lower than expected" because of problems at both its UK and US arms. Centrica said 650,000 of the customer accounts it had lost were as a result of so-called "Collective switching", where large groups of households join forces with a new provider to get the best deal. Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital, said: "The price hike in September clearly had an impact. You have to wonder why Centrica rushed out its plans to reform the energy market - perhaps it's seeing a larger number of account losses than planned." "Weaker margins as a result of intense pricing pressure on both sides of the Atlantic, plus a £46m write-down, means Centrica is set to miss profit expectations."

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