Centrica doubles operating profit to £948mn

Centrica reports doubling in operating profit in 2021 as it was boosted by the sale of Direct Energy and agreed sale of Spirit Norway

Centrica more than doubled its operating profit to £948mn last year.

Net cash rose to £0.7bn compared with net debt of £3bn at the start of 2021, as Centrica was boosted by the sale of Direct Energy for US$3.625bn and agreed sale of Spirit Norway for £800mn. Adjusted EPS rose 46% to 4.1p and total free cashflow soared 71% to £1,174mn.

Positive impact from efficiencies, reduced impact of COVID-19 and higher Upstream commodity prices were offset by "disappointing" performance in British Gas Services, Whitegate CCGT outage in Bord Gais and lower energy marketing and trading profit.

This year it says the outlook is "broadly positive" with energy procurement and risk management capabilities leaving it well placed to handle the energy crisis, and the focus will be on colleague engagement and customer service.

Centrica says it holds £294mn in a 'separate bank account' to protect customers' deposits, and recently launched the British Gas £2mn winter fund, as the UK energy crunch intensifies. So far it has provided over £600,000 in relief to over 1,000 customers.

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