Centrica, the owner of British Gas, has reported a 5% fall in operating profit for 2006 due to the impact of one off costs, the BBC has reported.
<p>Centrica, the largest utility in the UK, reported an operating profit of GBP1.44 billion for fiscal 2006. Despite the disappointing overall result, the company's recently troubled residential energy arm British Gas improved profits by GBP5 million to GBP95 million.<br /><br />The residential business had been struggling with loses and is still hemorrhaging customers; one million left in 2006. However, a series of price rises helped it to return to profit in H2 2006. Meanwhile, overall group turnover also increased 22% to GBP16.5 billion.<br /><br />Centrica said that it was looking to maintaining its residential division's profitable status in 2007. While the company has recently announced tariff reductions in the wake of falling wholesale prices, the firm said that it would look to achieve a healthy balance between appropriate pricing and profitability.</p>