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27

Centrica's Profit Fell Due to High Fuel Costs

The British utility giant Centrica announced a near 30pc fall in profits

The British utility giant Centrica announced a near 30pc fall in profits as the surge in wholesale gas prices sent earnings at British Gas tumbling.

Despite pushing up prices to households earlier this year, its British Gas division, which supplies almost 16m of homes and companies across the UK, fell into the red several months ago as gas prices continued to rise. It made profits of just £166m in the first half of the year, compared with £533m in the same period in 2007.

The loss more than outweighs the profit improvement at Centrica's upstream business, Centrica Energy, which operates gas fields and produces electricity from its power stations.

For the group as a whole, the company is expected to post operating profits of £880m, against £1.22bn last year.