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British Gas owner Centrica said this morning the energy giant expects that its earnings per share will be at the top end of expectations even as the business’s retail division was hit by recent unseasonably warm weather.
The business said that adjusted earnings per share will this year be closer to the 26p that the most optimistic analysts expect than the 15.1p forecast by those most pessimistic about the company’s prospects.
The business also added that British Gas Energy has sold less and made smaller profit because October’s weather was warmer than in a usual year.
“As a result, we expect adjusted operating profit in our retail division to be lower than current expectations,” Centrica said.
“Centrica has continued to deliver strong operational performance from its balanced portfolio since its interim results in July and now expects full-year adjusted earnings per share to be towards the top end of the range of more recent sell-side analyst expectations,” the business said on Thursday.
The parts of the business that generate electricity and extract gas from under the ground have performed well in recent months.
The company has also recently announced the reopening of Rough – the UK’s single biggest gas storage site which was mothballed in 2017.
However, the business also said British Gas Energy has been hit recently as the weather in October was unseasonably warm.
It also said that inflation is increasing its costs and the number of customers that its service business has.
The company said it would funnel an additional £25 million to help its customers through the tough winter ahead – doubling the total support it has promised.
“Broader inflationary and economic pressures have impacted both our cost base and customer numbers in British Gas Services & Solutions while warmer than normal weather in October has contributed towards lower volumes and profits in British Gas Energy,” the business said.
“As a result, we expect adjusted operating profit in our retail division to be lower than current expectations.”
There will also be a handout for shareholders as Centrica said that it would buy back 5% of its shares from them.
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