Centrica, which owns British Gas, said higher volumes and tariffs more than offset the higher commodity prices and other costs. But it claims to control just 15% of a customer's bill through its operating costs and profit margins.
Chief executive Sam Laidlaw said:
Centrica has performed well in the first half of 2012 despite challenging market conditions, although the increase in earnings must be placed in the context of unusually low levels of consumption and profits in the UK in the first half of 2011.
Cold start to the year may have been bleak for us - but it left British gas basking in soaring profits, leading to calls for a better deal
Another energy company another rise in profits. But with significant political pressure British Gas' explanations may not win them friends