Britain's Largest Energy Supplier to Cut 4000 Jobs

Gladys Abbott
February 23, 2018

The company blamed "significantly reduced profit" after losing 750,000 customers.

The announcement came as it revealed in its annual results statement operating profits had fallen 92 per cent to £4 million for the year to 31 December.

The company's United Kingdom business division suffered a whopping 92% fall in adjusted operating profit to just £4 million for the full year to December 31, while its United Kingdom home arm managed a 1% rise to £819 million. It lost 23% of its I&C customer base and 5% of SME customers.

Centrica's group chief executive Iain Conn said: "Our financial result in the second half of 2017 was weak, primarily reflecting poor performance in business energy supply and particularly in our North America business unit".

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The cost saving programme is expected to affect 4,000 jobs by 2020, while an additional 1,000 roles will be created in Centrica's connected home, DE&P and EM&T businesses between 2018 and 2020.

This demonstrates how fierce competition has become from the multitude of smaller independents actively encouraged by United Kingdom policy on switching suppliers.

In October, Theresa May announced plans to introduce a household cap to deal with "rip-off" energy prices. He also refused to rule out further job cuts in future. "We're not in a blame game here". Previous year saw hundreds of thousands of customers leaving British Gas business due to tariff rolloff on several products, with no alternative offering to customers. Conn said it moved 700,000 customers from its SVT onto fixed price deals past year and will do the same for another 1.3 million customers in 2018, putting the supplier in a good position to cope with the price cap.

He said the company is driving down costs as hard as it can and is aiming for a reduction of £20 per customer by 2020. "We are not a natural owner and it's a minority stake with limited control", said Conn, adding that buyers might include infrastructure funds.

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