Centrica loses 107,000 UK customers as consumers shop around

By Frank Prenesti

Date: Thursday 21 Nov 2019

Centrica loses 107,000 UK customers as consumers shop around

(Sharecast News) - Brtitish Gas owner Centrica said it lost 107,000 energy customers in the four months to October, but said the rate of decline was slowing as it maintained full year guidance.

The energy utility on Wednesday said adjusted operating cash flow expected to be in the lower half of a targeted £1.8bn - £2bn range as it increased its efficiency savings forecast by £50m to £300m. Capital investment forecasts were cut by £100m to £800m.

Centrica said total UK accounts increased by 136,000 in the four months to October, offsetting the loss of 107,000 energy customers. The company reported growth in its services and home solutions operations which offer boiler repairs and installation of internet-controlled thermostats.

"The rate of UK energy supply net losses was lower than in the first half of the year and significantly lower than in 2018, despite continued high levels of price competition and market switching," Centrica said in a trading update.

Along with the other members of the so-called "big six" suppliers in the UK, Centrica has struggled to keep up with increased competition from smaller, more nimble, players in the market and the imposition of a government cap on tariffs after years of accusations that consumers were being hit with "rip-off" charges for gas and electricity.

The company also reported higher margins and returns in business energy supply in North America and strong trading in Europe which offset the impact of further extensions to outages at the non-operated Dungeness B and Hunterston B nuclear power stations.


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