Big freeze boosts Centrica profits

British GasBritish Gas owner Centrica saw profits from its residential energy arm rise by 3.2% to £356 million as it cashed in on the freeze in the first half of the year.

The supplier pumped up earnings from the bitterly cold weather after raising tariffs by 6% in December.
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The announcement that British Gas Residential saw profits from its energy supply increase from £345 million in the same period last year is likely to spark anger.

It has already pledged that it would use higher revenues over the period to put a lid on more tariff hikes for the time being but campaigners have called for the company to go further and cut prices.
Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw said: "With our customers using more gas to stay warm during the unusually cold winter, we're doing everything we can to help them keep their energy costs under control and make bills simpler and clearer."
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