British Gas owner Centrica has announced record profits of £3.3 billion for the fiscal year 2022.

The company recorded a huge increase in profits from £948m in 2021.

This is more than the firm’s previous highest-ever yearly profit of £ 2.7 billion, posted in 2012.

Soaring energy prices have aided the oil and gas producer as the ongoing conflict in Ukraine led to wholesale gas prices reaching new highs.

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Since Russia’s invasion and the subsequent sanctions imposed on the country, supplies have been limited.

Centrica became subject to the 45 percent windfall tax on electricity generators as political pressure mounted to address all-time high profits.

The government expects its windfall tax to raise £14 billion by 2023.

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However, Centrica’s record-breaking results have prompted renewed calls for tougher taxes on energy companies’ high profits.

Despite Centrica’s announcement, British Gas’s financial performance was not as strong as that of its parent company.

Adjusted operating profit fell 39 percent to £72 million in 2022 from £118 million in 2021.

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According to the accounts, Centrica paid £1 billion in tax during the fiscal year.

Operating profit rose to £724m from a loss of £38m in 2021, which the company said reflected “strong generation volumes and higher achieved prices”.

Centrica’s financial results were released on Thursday, following a period of public scrutiny of the company.

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An investigation recently revealed that debt collectors working on behalf of British Gas forced their way into the homes of vulnerable customers, including people with disabilities.

According to the electricity regulator Ofgem, the end of the forced installation of energy prepayment meters will only last until the end of March.

Centrica attempted to address the issue in its annual report, stating that protecting vulnerable customers is a top priority.

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The firm has committed to donate 10 percent of both British Gas Energy’s and Irish operator Bord Gáis’s adjusted operating profits “to help until the current crisis is over”.

“Therefore, we were extremely disappointed by the allegations surrounding one of our third-party contractors and their approach to pre-payment customers. We immediately took action to address this and are completing a thorough independent investigation,” the company said in the results.

Source:  Sky News

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