SCOTTISH Gas-owner Centrica will have been one of the few companies to benefit from the wet spring when it posts its half-year results on Thursday.
While retailer after retailer has bemoaned the effects of the wet weather, the utilities giant is expected to post a 26 per cent rise in profits at its residential supply arm to £352 million for the six months to 30 June.
Rising profits at the division, which trades as British Gas south of the Border, are expected to reignite criticism from consumer groups, which have accused all of the “big six” energy companies of charging too much for electricity and gas. British Gas dropped its standard electricity price by 5 per cent in January, but prices were still higher than a year ago after a 16 per cent rise in August when gas bills also went up, by 18 per cent.
The chilly start to the summer is likely to have prompted people to crank up their central heating.
The City’s forecasts would mean that British Gas made an average pre-tax profit of £3.70 per household per month in the first half-year. Centrica’s underlying profits are expected to rise by 13 per cent to £763m.
Analysts will also be watching for a trading update at Scottish Hydro Electric-owner SSE’s annual general meeting at Bournemouth on Friday. Analysts at Citi believe there is an over-supply of power in the UK market at present and that SSE’s share price has only rallied because investors have seen it as a “safe haven” amid the Eurozone debt crisis.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West