British Gas Owner Centrica Profits From Cold Snap

LONDON -- Centrica  (LSE: CNA  ) released a positive interim management statement this morning, with the shares responding accordingly by gaining 4 pence in early trade to reach 381 pence.

While we've seen updates from the likes of high-street retailers suffering due to Britain's extended cold weather recently, it's no surprise that energy companies will have gained from their customers spending more time at home and cranking up the heating.

The owner of British Gas reported that the average residential gas consumption was 18% higher in the first four months of 2013 than its 2012 comparative period, while average residential electricity consumption was 3% higher. Its residential energy supply business also saw the number of accounts increase by 28,000 over the period.

But management is taking the unusual step, albeit a welcome one for its customers, to use the increased profits "to continue to invest in customer service and price competitiveness" -- in other words, to keep its prices down rather than use the profits as an excuse for a price hike, after recognising the "economic pressures" facing many of its customers.

In other news, full-year earnings growth is expected to be in line with market expectations, while Centrica also confirmed that its "refreshed strategic priorities" are making good progress, following a North American LNG export agreement with Cheniere in March and the acquisition of Canadian natural gas assets from Suncor in partnership with Qatar Petroleum International in April.

Of course, whether today's results and the future prospects for the industry all combine to make shares of Centrica a 'buy' remains your decision.

However, if you are looking for alternative investment opportunities in the FTSE 100, then this exclusive wealth report reviews five particularly attractive propositions.

All five of these blue-chip companies offer a mix of robust prospects, illustrious histories and dependable dividends. The report is completely free, but will only remain available for a limited time -- simply click here to get it sent to your inbox immediately.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2427197, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/24/2016 8:38:42 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 23 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,261.45 -131.01 -0.71%
S&P 500 2,164.69 -12.49 -0.57%
NASD 5,305.75 -33.78 -0.63%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/23/2016 12:10 PM
CNA $227.43 Down -1.17 -0.51%
Centrica CAPS Rating: No stars