Scottish Gas owner Centrica to axe 6,000 jobs

Scottish Gas owner Centrica is to axe around 6,000 jobs. Picture: PA
Scottish Gas owner Centrica is to axe around 6,000 jobs. Picture: PA
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CENTRICA, the energy group that owns the Scottish Gas brand, today announced plans to axe about 6,000 jobs as it revealed profits almost doubled at its residential supply business.

The group, which reported an overall 3 per cent fall in first-half adjusted operating profits to £1 billion, said it was seeking to achieve the job cutbacks by 2020, with most redundancies occurring before the end of 2017.

“Taking account of additional headcount in the growth areas, the net reduction should be about 4,000 roles, before growth in the workforce necessary to deliver the roll-out of smart meters in the UK,” Centrica said.

The move follows a strategic review of the business, launched in February, that will also see it exit wind power joint ventures and cut spending on exploration and production.

Centrica also revealed today that operating profits at its British Gas arm jumped 44 per cent to £656m in the first half, with earnings from residential energy supplies almost doubling to £528m.

It said: “British Gas Residential experienced higher consumption, reflecting colder than normal weather compared to an unusually warm first half of 2014.

“With falling wholesale commodity prices and lower Energy Company Obligation environmental costs, predominantly reflecting the phasing of our expenditure on the programme, profitability nearly doubled compared to a weak 2014 figure.”