More than 100,000 energy accounts switched from British Gas
In a trading update released today, it confirmed that 62,000 customers had switched away in the first four months of 2018 as a result of “high levels of competitive intensity”.
However, it added that the customer account losses in the year to date have “slowed materially relative to the average of 2017”. See YourMoney’s Guide on switching energy supplier for more information.
Just last month, British Gas announced more than four million customers on its standard variable tariff would see typical dual fuel bills increase by an average of £60 to £1,161 a year – a £30 rise for both gas and electricity from 29 May.
Centrica confirmed it added 91,000 Connected Home customers in the same four month period, and it expects the numbers to reach one million in total this week. As such, gross revenue from this part of the business was up 37% compared to the same period last year.
The colder winter earlier this year increased demand for energy and also meant there were a high number of central heating boiler breakdowns.
As such, it fixed 145,000 breakdowns in one week, its “busiest week ever” – twice the usual number.
But the additional call-out costs due to the extreme weather are expected to result in H1 2018 adjusted operating profit to be lower than in the previous year.
The energy provider also saw an increase in the number of customer complaints following the cold weather which British Gas said had now returned to normal levels.
The full year dividend is expected to be 12.0p per share and British Gas said like-for-like staff numbers are expected to reduce by around 1,000 during the year.
The company is due to release its 2018 interim results on 31 July 2018.