British Gas business energy supply profits wiped out


British Gas made no money from its business to business energy supply division in the first half of this year.

The firm shed 30,000 UK business customers and posted a profit of £0 versus £31m the prior year.

Publishing first half results, parent company Centrica said the business continued to rebuild its reputation following fallout from its billing system implementation some years ago.

The company said it expected to return to profit for the full year and will focus activities on higher value small and medium-sized companies, which are generally more profitable for suppliers than large industrial and commercial customers.

However, British Gas has stressed that its focus on SME is not at the expense of its I&C strategy.

The firm said it will continue building relationships with brokers, which hold significant influence over the business to business market.

Domestic discord

British Gas lost 377,000 household energy accounts with domestic energy supply profits falling 26% to £381m.

The company has urged policymakers to make small suppliers pay social and environmental levies, suggesting they have an unfair advantage over large market incumbents.

Currently, small suppliers do not have to add the cost of some government policies to their bills. As these costs increase, large firms argue, that creates a market distortion.

As small suppliers continue to take customers from large suppliers, the suggestion is that distortion becomes amplified.

Debt relief

While large utilities face challenging times and significant debt, Centrica said it was on track to deliver £250m in efficiency savings for the full year and had cut its net debt by 22% over the last 12 months.

Markets reacted positively to the announcement. Centrica’s share price rose 2% in early trading.

Story updated 17/08/17 to clarify that British Gas has not reduced focus on I&C market.

Related stories:

Centrica to pay £9.5m for business customer billing failures

British Gas: £4bn energy efficiency opportunity for UK firms

Centrica buy’s Ener-G’s CHP unit in bid to scale distributed generation business

Centrica to cut 3,000 jobs as utilities feel heat

Centrica sells power stations to Czech firm

Centrica to close Rough, UK’s largest gas storage facility

Centrica calls for suppliers to build capacity market gas plant

Centrica to start work on 49MW battery plant, calls for local suppliers

Centrica: Floodgates on battery storage to open in 2017

Centrica’s ENER-G: Flexibility and grid services will drive future revenue

Power prices to remain low to 2020: Moody’s

Click here to see if you qualify for a free subscription to the print magazine, or to renew.

Follow us at @EnergystMedia. For regular bulletins, sign up for the free newsletter.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here