British Gas issues profit warning, while E.ON shows improved optimism

Some of UK’s largest energy suppliers seem to be going through some tough times in terms of profits, while others, such as E.ON, are actually faring quite well, a new media report has revealed.

Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, has just issued a profit warning, informing its shareholders that its full year profits could be “significantly lower” than in 2012, experts estimating that the loss will be somewhere in the vicinity of 4% below the forecast values.

The warning comes as a result of significant losses coming from its business supply and gas-fired power plants arms. It follows the company’s rather controversial decision to increase electricity and gas prices by 10.4% and 8.4%, respectively, from 23 November, after its British Gas residential business was “loss-making for a number of months”.

“Market conditions remain challenging, particularly in business energy supply in both the UK and the US, in UK gas-fired power generation and in UK gas storage,” Centrica said.

On the other hand, it seems that some of British Gas’ rivals are faring significantly better, with E.ON forecasting a rise in profits from £194 million to £227 million for the six months to the end of September despite the past three months running at a loss. It blamed the Government’s green energy schemes as well as the cost of distribution for a loss of £37 million.

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