UK energy company Centrica triples profit

British Gas owner records earnings of £3.3bn for 2022 on the back of Russian invasion of Ukraine

Centrica, which owns British Gas, announced an extension of a share buyback programme. Reuters
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Centrica, the company which owns British Gas, has seen its operating profit more than triple to £3.3 billion ($3.98 billion) in 2022, from £948 million in the previous year.

Energy firms have posted record earnings after Russia's invasion of Ukraine a year ago caused a spike in oil and gas prices.

As a result of the massive jump in profits, Centrica announced an extension of a share buyback programme which, when completed, will see 10 per cent of the share capital back in the company's hands.

Much of the profit rise came from Centrica's upstream oil and gas production operations. The company also has a 20 per cent interest in the UK's nuclear power generation sector.

Profits at Centrica's British Gas Energy arm, which supplies domestic customers, fell by 39 per cent to £72 million, which "largely reflects voluntary donations made to support customers and the repayment of furlough funds received by the Group in 2020," the company said.

Group chief executive Chris O’Shea said: "We invested £75 million in supporting our energy customers in 2022, which was greater than the £8 post-tax profit per customer earned by British Gas Energy. Whilst customers may see some relief given recent easing of prices, it remains clear that some will continue to need help and we will do what we can to support them in the year ahead."

In an effort to head off calls for a windfall tax, Centrica also noted at the top of their results statement that it has paid £1 billion in tax relating to 2022 profits.

Updated: February 16, 2023, 8:17 AM