Centrica has GDP contribution 'as big as Manchester'

On Sunday Centrica sought to deflect flak over another jump in annual profits by flagging up its importance to the UK economy.

Chief executive Sam Laidlaw said its contribution to GDP was equivalent to a city the size of Manchester, and its tax bill amounted to £158 for every UK household.

Centrica published the findings of its specially commissioned report ahead of an expected double-digit rise in profits after increasing bills by 6% for around 8.5 million households at the end of last year.

Mr Laidlaw said: "At a time of uncertain economic prospects, our activities across the UK are even more important to secure employment, put the supply chain to work and contribute our fair share of tax."

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British Gas profits up 11%

British Gas has announced its profits are up 11% from last year to £606m. Its owner Centrica, which also owns Scottish Gas, has announced its annual operating profits are up 14%.