Shareholder's anger as owner of British Gas announces that 234,000 customers came out in the first third of the year


Many shareholders are exhaling their fury after 234,000 customers have left Centrica, owner of British Gas, in the first four months of this year.

Britain's biggest energy supplier also warned that the warmer weather and a 70 million pound fall in the government's power ceiling will affect first-half results.

About 1.88 million customer accounts have been lost since 2015.

Shareholders arriving at the annual general meeting on Monday told ITV News that they were not satisfied with the company's performance and that they wanted to "humiliate" Centrica CEO Ian Conn about his $ 2.4 million package. pounds.

The Conn payment of 2018 has increased by almost half and caused unease among workers as the company began cutting 2,000 jobs in Glasgow and Leeds.

However, despite Conn's criticism, 85% of shareholders voted in favor of their salary premium.

Centrica said it saw a "challenging" start to 2019 as UK natural gas prices plummeted.

Speaking about the loss of 234,000 customer accounts in the UK in the first four months of 2019, the company said that the increase in the level of the new default rate ceiling led to an increase in customers in March and April.

Centrica said gross revenue rose 54% in the four months and kept its outlook for operating cash flow and debt unchanged as it expects cost savings to increase in the final six months of 2019. Stocks rose 2% .

The group made a saving of £ 58 million by the end of April and is on the path of £ 250 million year-round, including moves to reach up to 2,000 jobs by 2019.

Iain Conn, chief executive of the Centrica group, said: "Although operational performance is largely in line with our plans, external factors have presented challenges for Centrica during the first four months of 2019 in the form of a standard tariff ceiling, hot climate. and falling gasoline prices.

"We also experimented with extensions to nuclear shutdowns.

"However, we continue to focus on those things that we can control, and as a result, we expect to achieve our cash flow and net debt goals for 2019."

Centrica is committed to providing a strategic update along with its bi-annual results in July, when it also expects to have "additional clarity" on trading pressures and issues affecting the industry.

The company warned in February that the energy price ceiling will hurt the performance of 2019.

Last July, the government approved a bill that called for the Ofgem to impose a cap on all standard energy tariffs, including the standard variable rate, which came into effect earlier in the year.

George Salmon, an equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, warned that the "scenario is set for a dividend cut" at Centrica.

"The reality is that challenges across the group, especially the 234,000 residential UK accounts that have come out of the way so far this year, mean a downside dividend is looking the most likely," he added.


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