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British Gas profits up 23%

Centrica said profits at its British Gas Residential arm rose 23% to £345 million in the six months to June 30.

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Centrica profits rise by 28% to £682 million

The stronger performance at British Gas helped Centrica's underlying earnings rise 14% to £767 million - slightly better than City expectations.

Its upstream gas and oil production business saw profits rise 28% to £682 million, buoyed by £1.2 billion of acquisitions.

The group yesterday announced a £1.4 billion investment with GDF Suez to develop a major North Sea gas field off the coast of Norfolk, creating some 4,000 jobs. It is believed to be the largest gas discovery in the southern North Sea for 25 years.

However, it said it will review the future of gas-fired plants at Peterborough and Roosecote in Cumbria because of challenging conditions. It follows its decision to close a station in King's Lynn.

The company said changes to carbon allowances will render much of its UK gas-fired generation fleet unprofitable from 2013.

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