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Centrica issues profit and investment warning

The company, which own British Gas, claims political debate over energy prices could result in uncertainty and lower investment levels

Centrica has warned investors the company is facing difficult market conditions

Centrica has warned investors the company is facing difficult market conditions

Centrica yesterday issued a statement in which it explained that its profits would be in line with those posted last year – significantly lower than the 4% increase analysts had expected.

Shares in the firm dropped by 18.6p to 345.3p, in light of what were described as difficult market conditions across the group’s portfolio of companies.

British Gas recently announced it would be raising gas and electric prices by 9.2% on 23 November.

‘Unprecedented times for the energy sector in the UK’

In terms of its performance in the UK, Centrica posted a £130m loss due to its gas-fueled power plants and the fall in coal prices. British Gas also stands to see low profits from its business division as SMEs are no longer rolled over on to the more expensive energy tariffs.

In a statement the company said: “These are unprecedented times for the energy sector in the UK, with intense public and political debate over rising bills.

“Investor confidence has been damaged and there is increased uncertainty over investment in the energy infrastructure that the UK needs.”

Group Finance Director Nick Luff explained that the company’s investors were amongst those becoming increasingly concerned about investing in the UK energy sector.

Looming price rises

British Gas, which will be raising its gas and electricity prices in just over one week, will become the third of the big six energy providers to do so.

SSE today became the first energy supplier to raise prices this winter, implementing an 8.2% increase. The rest of the big six are expected to follow, including E.ON, the sole member of the group not to have announced a rise.

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