British Gas profits jump 58pc

City A.M. Reporter
OPERATING profits at British Gas soared by 58 per cent in 2009 to a record high.

The announcement came just days after energy regulator Ofgem revealed that energy firms' profit margins had risen in recent months.

British Gas said the average bill was "slightly higher" than the previous year when there were a series of gas price hikes.

It also said that unusually cold weather in January, February and December 2009 had helped to push up demand.

British Gas is the UK's largest energy supplier.

It gained 141,000 residential customers last year, taking the total number of households it serves to 15.7m.

Meanwhile adjusted profit at parent company Centrica fell by 7 per cent to £1.86bn.

Centrica finance director Nick Luff said British Gas was "the cheapest major supplier of gas and power to the residential market".