Bord Gáis Energy owner eyes transformation as Irish revenue declines

Centrica plans to outline a new longer-term strategy after £362m loss

Centrica owns Bord Gáis Energy,  its Irish revenues last year amounted to £725 million, down from £777 million a year earlier. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty

Centrica owns Bord Gáis Energy, its Irish revenues last year amounted to £725 million, down from £777 million a year earlier. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty

 

Britain’s largest energy supplier Centrica will outline a new longer-term strategy in the second half of the year, the company said after it posted a £362 million (€418 million) loss from continuing operations for 2020 and paused its dividend.

The company owns Bord Gáis Energy in the Republic and its Irish revenues last year amounted to £725 million, down from £777 million a year earlier, the company said.

The British Gas owner has sought to reinvent itself as an energy service provider, selling upstream assets, and said its restructuring plan announced last year was on track but more work was needed.

“We will lay out our longer-term strategy in the second half of 2021,” chief executive officer Chris O’Shea said.

The company booked exceptional charges of almost £1.6 billion which it said were partly due to a large drop in commodity prices and lower output from nuclear plants.

Centrica said it would not propose a full-year dividend for 2020 and would “recommence dividends to shareholders when it is prudent to do so”.

Shares in the company were down about 3 per cent on Thursday morning.

In 2018, Centrica said it wanted to divest its 20 per cent interest in the UK operating nuclear power fleet but it has struggled to sell the asset.

“We continue to consider options for a sale, however, the divestment process is currently paused given operational issues on a number of the power stations,” the firm said.

Restructuring plans announced last year are expected to lead to a total reduction of about 5,000 roles across the group when compared with the start of 2020, with about 1,000 expected to come from its North American business Direct Energy, which it has already sold.

Centrica said it had brought forward by five years – to 2045 – a commitment to reach net zero emissions and would lay out more details on this later in the year.

This year has seen a series of industrial actions from a portion of British Gas’ services engineer staff over terms and conditions. – Reuters