British Gas owner Centrica has flogged two gas power plants to a Czech firm for £318m

Courtney Goldsmith
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Centrica Posts Massive Profit
Centrica aims to capitalise on the home services market (Source: Getty)

Centrica sold its two biggest gas-fired power plants to Czech firm EPH for £318m as part of a push to become a "21st century energy and services company".

The British Gas owner sees growth potential from traditional energy supply and power generation to flat-lining over the next decade, so it is turning its focus to the growing home services market and flexible energy management.

"We must turn ourselves into a 21st century energy and services company," chief executive Iain Conn told analysts today at the firm's capital markets day.

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The Langage and South Humber power plants have an installed capacity of 2.3 gigawatts, around seven per cent of the UK's total gas-fired capacity, according to Peter Kiernan, lead analyst on energy at The Economist Intelligence Unit.

Kiernan said the sale reflects Centrica's decision to shift its priority towards customer-oriented business, distributed generation and energy storage. He added the sales "reflect the changing priorities of some energy companies seeking to shift away from fossil fuel-based centralised power generation, in part due to the expected growth in small-scale renewables and development of energy storage in the longer term".

Centrica expects its connected home and distributed energy and power units to break even by 2019. Revenue is anticipated to increase ten-fold by 2022 from just £200m pounds last year.

Shares in Centrica rose 2.13 per cent to close at 206.40p.

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