Centrica annual earnings jump five per cent

ENERGY giant Centrica this morning posted a five per cent jump in adjusted earnings, boosted by the colder weather.

Centrica, which owns British Gas, reported adjusted earnings of £1.4bn, in line with expectations.

Operating profit for the FTSE energy giant came in at £2.74bn, up 14 per cent from the previous year.

British Gas, which hiked its prices at the end of last year, posted an 11 per cent jump in adjusted operating profit to £606m.

Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw this morning defended the profits, adding that it was important that the firm “makes a fair and reasonable return so that we can continue to make our contribution to society and to invest”.

"Last year we incurred a tax charge of over £1bn and invested over £2bn to secure new sources of energy for the UK, well in excess of our profits," he added.

Centrica also confirmed that British Gas managing director Phil Bentley will step down at the end of the year, in a move which had previously been flagged.