British Gas profits fall 34% but there is still hope for further cuts in energy bills

27 February 2009 / by Rebecca Sargent
British Gas yesterday announced a profit loss of 34 per cent for last year, despite its parent company Centrica announcing profits of almost £2billion for the same period.

In its statement, Centrica said that the profit loss at href="http://www.fairinvestment.co.uk/british_gas.aspx

">British Gas was due to conditions: "In the first half of 2008 we experienced rapidly rising global oil prices, only to see them fall in the second half, at the same time as the credit markets tightened greatly for all of our customers and counterparties."

The company added that the fall in profit at British Gas came despite the fact that it was "forced to follow other suppliers and raised retail tariffs twice during this year."

However, the company said: "2009 has started well for the energy supply business, with the favourable combination of higher demand due to cold weather and a lower prompt gas price."

For these reasons, uSwitch.com suggests that further gas and electricity price cuts could be on the cards for British Gas this year after its moderate cut in gas prices of 10 per cent.

Director of consumer policy at uSwitch.com, Ann Robinson, said: "Despite the lower profits, there is still hope for further cuts on household bills. Wholesale prices are falling and we expect them to drop further because of the recession and falling demand for energy.

"We would like to see British Gas continue to pass the benefits of these reductions onto customers as quickly as possible, but in reality any further cuts are likely to come later this year."

That is why uSwitch.com is urging consumers to compare gas and electricity prices from various providers now, rather than wait for cuts. According to uSwitch, if households switch energy provider they could save up to £350 on their fuel bills.

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