Monday 10 May 2021 7:33 am

British Gas owner Centrica still suffering from fall in electricity demand

British Gas owner Centrica today said that the pandemic was continuing to heap pressure on its finances, with electricity demand down 15 per cent in the first quarter.

The company’s quarterly residential boiler installations were also down 11 per cent compared to the same period in 2020, while non-essential visits were postponed due to Covid measures.

Centrica said net debt was down to £0.5bn from £3bn at the start of the year, including the impact of net proceeds from the sale of its Direct Energy business.

Last year, Centrica announced that it would slash 5,000 jobs in a bid to restructure its business model after the pandemic.

Chris O’Shea, group CEO of Centrica, said that the group’s restructure remained on track and that it expects year-on-year operating costs savings of more than £100m in 2021.

“As expected, trading conditions have remained tough in the year to date. However, the modernisation of our Group remains on track and the difficult, but necessary process to move colleagues onto new terms and conditions is now complete.

“Although the external environment remains uncertain, our tight focus on cash and on fixing the basics across the Group leaves us well placed as we continue the turnaround of our company.”