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British Gas announces record profits
Published:  28 July, 2010

British Gas has posted profits up 98% for the first half of 2010, according to parent company Centrica.

British Gas has announced operating profits of £585 million for January to June 2010, according to parent company Centrica. The organisation said this was an increase of 98% compared to the same period last year.

Centrica's overall profits have also risen 65%, up to £1.56 billion.

Chief executive Sam Laidlaw said the rise in British Gas' profits was partly due to the UK experiencing one of the coldest winters on record.

Centrica said that reducing its gas prices in February 2010 helped lead to a significant increase in residential energy customer accounts, with 223,000 customer accounts being added during the first six months of the year.

The cold weather also saw "record levels of call-outs", with British Gas service engineers repairing up to 35,000 boilers each day. Nearly 2 million of British Gas' existing service contracts have been renewed onto an insurance-based product, and the company has seen a 17% increase in the number of central heating installations undertaken after the British Gas brand "offered a more competitively-priced product".

The previous government's boiler scrappage scheme was also said to have had a positive impact.