Power giant reveals profits up by 34%

Big-six energy supplier Npower risked public anger yesterday after it unveiled a 34 per cent leap in annual profits in a year in which it hiked its average electricity and gas bills.

The company, which supplies more than six million customers in the UK, said profits were £313 million in 2011, up from £232m the previous year.

Npower, owned by German utility giant RWE, lifted average tariffs for gas by 15.7 per cent and electricity by 7.2 per cent last October – but has since lowered gas bills by 5 per cent.

The company said the surge in profits was driven by improved income from power generation, as well as higher cost savings, while it also invested nearly £1 billion in clean energy in the UK.

Npower, the fourth largest provider in the UK, blamed rising wholesale prices on the global market and a commitment to invest in future energy supplies when it hiked bills last year. But it said its bills remain below the current national average.