UK-based energy supplier British Gas has posted an 11% year-on-year growth in profits from residential energy supply of £606m for 2012, as people bought more gas due to colder weather conditions.

During the year, profits jumped 16% to £312m at British Gas’ residential services unit, which covers services such as boiler repairs.

In the year ended 31 December 2012, British Gas owner Centrica has reported a 14% increase in adjusted operating profit to £2.74bn from £2.41bn.

Operating profit from continuing operations grew to £2,625m from £1,414m in 2011, while total earnings rose to £1,273m from £421m.

Centrica chairman Roger Carr noted that the colder weather last year contributing to higher energy bills.

"British Gas took the lead in simplifying tariffs and implemented changes consistent with Ofgem’s proposals for retail market reform," Carr said in a release.

"In parallel we continued to innovate with smart metering, to help consumers manage their energy usage, and to support customers with free insulation to reduce their consumption."

Commenting on the latest operational update, Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw said during 2012, the firm helped British households save energy.

"It’s important that Centrica makes a fair and reasonable return so that we can continue to make our contribution to society and to invest," Laidlaw added.

"Last year we incurred a tax charge of over £1 billion and invested over £2 billion to secure new sources of energy for the UK, well in excess of our profits."

The company said construction of £1.4bn North Sea Cygnus gas field has already started, creating 4,000 jobs and producing gas for 1.5 million households in the UK.