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Sweating it out

Bord Gáis Energy's new owner has taken a big hit because of warm weather

Centrica blamed a fall in profit on much lower gas and power consumption.

Anthony Devlin / PA Archive/Press Association Images Anthony Devlin / PA Archive/Press Association Images / PA Archive/Press Association Images

BORD GÁIS ENERGY’S parent company Centrica had a big fall in profits last year because of unusually warm weather in the UK.

The company, the largest residential electricity and gas supplier in both the UK and Ireland, still made an operating profit of £1.75 billion (€2.36 billion) last year – but that figure was down 35% on the 2013 figure.

It said the profits in its British Gas business, the biggest cash cow for the UK-based company, were down because of “lower consumption in a record warm year”.

Weather Centrica Centrica

However rather than hiking rates for customers to raise more money this year, Centrica vowed it would “focus on competitive pricing, customer service and operational efficiency” to boost its bottom line.

A splintering

Bord Gáis Energy was splintered off from semi-state Bord Gáis Éireann, which has now been rebranded Ervia, and sold to a consortium including Centrica and two partners for €1.1 billion last year.

It includes the semi-state’s retail business, while Ervia still owns the gas supply business – which has been renamed Gas Networks Ireland.

In Centrica’s statement today, it said the total amount it had paid for Bord Gáis Energy’s gas and electricity supply business in the Republic, which included the Whitegate power station, was €214 million.

The Irish business had 608,000 residential customers last year and ran at an operating profit of £7 million (€9.5 million) for the six months it was in the UK company’s hands.

In 2015 it expects Bord Gáis Energy to contribute about €40 million, before interest and other deductions, to the company’s bottom line.

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