Feb 25, 2021

Centrica records worst year on record at British Gas

Centrica has warned that revival efforts "Won't be easy" as it recorded the worst result on record for its flagship British Gas energy supply arm and booked almost £1.6bn of impairments and restructuring costs. The formerly state-owned company said on Thursday that adjusted operating profit at British Gas fell 35 per cent last year to £80m. Warm weather in spring and summer pushed down energy demand, while the company had to make higher bad debt provisions for customers hit financially by the coronavirus crisis. Last year the pandemic added to its woes and it booked a £644m impairment against its oil and gas joint venture, which it is trying to sell, after commodity prices slid in the first half of the year. The dividend was suspended last year during the first wave of the pandemic and would not be reinstated until it was "Prudent to do so", the company said. O'Shea insisted that 2020 would be the last year it books major restructuring charges and "The era of thousands of job losses every year is over".

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