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July 28, 2010    

British Gas profits boosted by cold winter

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by Kay Murchie

British Gas has today reported a sharp rise in profits due to an increase in gas usage during the icy conditions experienced earlier this year.

Its parent company Centrica said operating profits totalled £585 million for the first half of 2010 - a massive 98% rise on the same period a year earlier.

The company, which supplies gas to over half of the country’s households, said gas usage grew by 8% and it added more than 200,000 new customers after it cut its bills in February.

Centrica’s chief executive, Sam Laidlaw, said: “This is a competitive market so we can’t give any signals but our position has always been to lead the market down and try to delay any price increases as long as we can.”

Meanwhile, Ann Robinson of the price comparison service, uSwitch, said: “Today’s profits suggest that suppliers could actually afford to pass on even more benefit to consumers by cutting their prices again.”

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