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Gloucestershire Business News

Owner of British Gas admits warm weather is affecting trading

Warmer than normal weather combined with a cap on standard variable tariffs have led to a "challenging" trading environment for the company that owns British Gas.

Centrica PLC issued a trading statement to the London Stock Exchange this morning ahead of its AGM today.

In it the company said that operation performance had been "largely in line" with company expectations in the first four months of 2019.

Centrica added that the "trading environment had been challenging due to a specific set of external factors.

They explained those were "the expected negative impact from the UK default tariff cap, warmer than normal weather and falling UK natural gas prices."

Chief executive Iain Conn said: "Although operational performance has been largely in line with our plans, external factors have presented challenges for Centrica during the first four months of 2019, in the form of the default tariff cap, warm weather, and falling gas prices.

"However, we continue to focus on those things we can control and as a result we expect to achieve our 2019 cash flow and net debt targets, while we are making further progress on cost efficiency delivery and on demonstrating margin capture capability."

Centrica will release its interim 2019 results at the end of July, where it will give a detailed update on performance over the past 12 months.

The statement released this morning said the company was "maintaining its full-year guidance on operating cash flow and net debt."

It also said that it expects to achieve its 2019 group targets which include a like-for-like reduction in headcount of staff of between 1,500 and 2,000.

Centrica lost 234,000 customer accounts in the first four months of 2019.

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