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Centrica says earnings to be higher than many expected despite British Gas hit

Energy giant Centrica has said that it expects to do better than experts are predicting even though mild recent weather hit profits at its British Gas subsidiary.

The business said that recent figures seem to indicate that many of the analysts who watch its performance might be making overly cautious predictions.

It said that earnings per share is likely to be closer towards the 26p that the most optimistic experts expect than the 15.1p that the most pessimistic have forecast.

“Centrica has continued to deliver strong operational performance from its balanced portfolio since its interim results in July and now expects full-year adjusted earnings per share to be towards the top end of the range of more recent sell-side analyst expectations,” the business said on Thursday.

The parts of the business that generate electricity and extract gas from under the ground have performed well in recent months.

The company has also recently announced the reopening of Rough – the UK’s single biggest gas storage site which was mothballed in 2017.

However, the business also said British Gas Energy has been hit recently as the weather in October was unseasonably warm.

It also said that inflation is increasing its costs and the number of customers that its service business has.

The company said it would funnel an additional £25 million to help its customers through the tough winter ahead – doubling the total support it has promised.

“Broader inflationary and economic pressures have impacted both our cost base and customer numbers in British Gas Services & Solutions while warmer than normal weather in October has contributed towards lower volumes and profits in British Gas Energy,” the business said.

“As a result, we expect adjusted operating profit in our retail division to be lower than current expectations.”

There will also be a handout for shareholders as Centrica said that it would buy back 5% of its shares from them.