Centrica CEO stepping down following profit plunge


Centrica’s Chief Executive Iain Conn, has announced his plant to resign from his position, and retire from the board in 2020, following an “exceptionally challenging” period.

The announcement follows the company reporting a pre-tax loss of £446 million over the first half of 2019, in contrast to profits of £704 million during the same period in 2018.

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The company will also cut its dividend, with plans to leave oil and gas production and nuclear generation, and focus on a low-carbon transition.

Centrica’s consumer unit profits dropped 44% to £240 million, “largely reflecting the impact of the UK residential energy supply default tariff cap”.

Business unit profitability plummeted by 89% to £11 million, due in part to warm weather, and lengthy outages at the Dungeness B and Hunterston B nuclear power stations.

Mr Conn said: “Centrica faced an exceptionally challenging environment in the first half of 2019, which impacted earnings and cash flows. We have also regrettably had to make the decision to rebase the dividend due to our changed circumstances, including the UK energy price cap and increased demands on our cash flows, including additional pension contributions.”

He added: “The board want me to implement the announcements we’ve made today and begin their material progress, including the divestment of Spirit Energy, pursuing the divestment of nuclear, the driving of performance, the rebasing of some of our business units and very importantly, work with the chairman and the board to secure an orderly succession.

“I’m very proud of what Centrica’s team has achieved in turning this company from one which was relatively ill-suited to changes taking place in the energy system, to the point where we are becoming in tune with it and are going to become fit for it as a customer-facing company in energy services and solutions.”

Charles Berry, Chairman of Centrica said: “Iain has led the strategic repositioning of Centrica since 2015 and has been the driving force behind our plan to turn Centrica into a sustainable business that is built around delivering clean, affordable energy and high-quality services and solutions for our customers, and to respond to the significant global challenge of moving to a lower carbon energy future.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Iain for his hard work and passion and for his ongoing commitment to transforming Centrica into a business with a stronger foundation for sustainable growth.”