Centrica loses massive 285,000 customers in 2019, yet shares stay bullish


UK-based mega-utility, and British Gas owner Centrica has lost a massive 107,000 residential customers during the period June to October, according to the companies updated 2019 results.

That said, household accounts took an even bigger dip during the year until June, when the firm lost 178,000 accounts.

Despite these drops centrica says its on-track to meet 2019 targets, with shares rising 5% over the last four months, and the company replacing lost accounts during the period with 136,000 new accounts.

The growth, the company says, has been thanks to new services and home solutions.

The company’s North American operations have experienced higher margins and returns in business energy supply, whilst European operations have experienced strong trading and performance optimisation along with cost-efficiency delivery have helped offset the impact of extended outages at the company’s Dungeness B and Hunterston B nuclear power stations, which have ceased operations for some time.

Centrica expects earnings to be adjusted with results from the second-half of the year weighted more heavily, and operating cash flow is expected to be in the lower half of the targeted £1.8-£2 billion range, with net debt at year-end expected to be within the targeted £3-£3.5 billion range.

With a further capital injection of approximately £800 million, a reduction of £100 million compared to indications in Interim Results, and in-year efficiency savings are expected to amount to about £300 million.

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Iain Conn, CEO of Centrica Group, said: “Our performance has been solid so far in the second half of the year and we remain on track to achieve our full-year targets for both adjusted operating cash flow and net debt.

“Our focus remains on satisfying the changing needs of our customers, providing energy supply and its optimisation, and services and solutions to enable the transition to a lower-carbon future.”