Skip Header
Important information: The value of investments can go down as well as up so you may get back less than you invest. Investors should note that the views expressed may no longer be current and may have already been acted upon. This is a third-party news feed and may not reflect Fidelity’s views.

Centrica posts fall in annual profit on lower energy prices

(Sharecast News) - British Gas owner Centrica posted a fall in annual profits on the back of "sharply lower" commodity prices. Adjusted operating profit for the year to December 2023 came in at £2.72bn from £3.3bn. The full-year dividend was up 33% to 4p a share.

Oil and gas firms cashed in after Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine two years ago sent prices rocketing, meaning consumers faced crippling increased in household energy bills.

The "astonishingly high" profit still angered campaigners with Unite union general secretary Sharon Graham reminding the firm that energy bills were still "nearly double what they were three years ago".

"There is no point beating around the bush: The only way to stop households and businesses being ripped off by the profiteers in our energy supply chain is public ownership."

"It is an absolutely affordable option that would protect the national interest. Our politicians need to decide whose side they are on and make the right choices."

On a pre-tax basis the company swung to a pre-tax profit of £6.47bn from a £383m loss a year earlier driven by its British Gas energy unit.

"As you would expect, sharply lower commodity prices and reduced volatility will naturally lower earnings in comparison to 2023 as we return to a more normalised environment," said chief executive Chris O'Shea.

Bad debts charge increased to £541m from £297m in 2022. The company came in for scathing criticism last year after debt collection agency Arvato force-fitted prepayment meters using warrants to gain entry to the homes of vulnerable customers its agents.

suspended its work with Arvato, while magistrates were accused of rubber-stamping applications for the warrants after reports emerged that a handful of courts were batch-processing hundreds of warrants in just minutes.

Reporting by Frank Prenesti for Sharecast.com

Share this article

Related Sharecast Articles

Billionaire Issa nearing deal to sell Asda stake to TDR Capital - report
(Sharecast News) - US private equity firm TDR Capital is reportedly closing in on a deal to buy petrol station billionaire Zuber Issa's stake in supermarket chain Asda.
Billionaire Issa nearing deal to sell Asda stake to TDR Capital
(Sharecast News) - Private equity firm TDR Capital is reportedly closing in on a deal to buy petrol station billionaire Zuber Issa's stake in supermarket chain Asda.
DS Smith tumbles as Mondi abandons pursuit
(Sharecast News) - DS Smith tanked on Friday after Mondi said it would not be making an offer for the rival packaging group, clearing the path for a takeover by International Paper.
Eqtec agrees amendment to Verde subscription
(Sharecast News) - Waste-to-energy technology developer Eqtec updated the market on the Verde Corporation subscription on Friday, confirming that an amendment to the subscription letter had been agreed upon with Verde.

Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

Award-winning online share dealing

Search, compare and select from thousands of shares.

Expert insights into investing your money

Our team of experts explore the world of share dealing.