British Gas profits soar by 889% (but not for the reason you might think)

The parent company of British Gas has revealed half-year profits for its UK household supply arm that are up by almost 900%.

Centrica said that underlying earnings at British Gas rose to £969m compared to the £98 million achieved a year earlier.

It said that the bulk of the growth, however, was not down to any trading windfall from high energy prices but a reduction in debt-related costs.

Energy regulator Ofgem’s price cap provides an allowance to account for debt on energy bills that cannot be recovered by suppliers and is ultimately written off.

Centrica said this meant that some £500m was brought under the scheme during the first six months of the year.

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