Energy and services firm Centrica today revealed that it had returned to profit in 2016.
The company, whose brands include British Gas, said it had made £384million worth of cost savings during a year in which it laid off more than 3,400 employees.
Read: Centrica to cut 90 positions from its European operations including Aberdeen, Morecambe Bay
It expects to achieve a further £250million of savings in 2017.
Centrica’s job cuts total 3,000
Centrica also said it had continued to shift investment from exploration and production (E&P) to “customer-facing activities”.
Its spending on E&P dropped 28% to £518million during the 12 months.
Part of that E&P capex was focused on the southern North Sea Cygnus project, which delivered first commercial gas in December 2016.
Centrica has a 49% stake in Cygnus, which is expected to ramp up towards peak production during 2017.
Operator Engie E&P UK holds 38.75%.
The company completed the sale of the Lincs wind farm during the year, and announced the divestment of its Trinidad and Tobago E&P business.
It aims to offload its Canada E&P unit in 2017.
Centrica achieved pre-tax profits of £2.19billion, a marked improvement on a deficit of £1.14billion in 2015.
Revenues at Centrica dipped 3% to £27.1billion, while group operating profits rose to £1.46billion from £1.39billion.
Net debt came down 27% to under £3.5billion.
Centrica chief executive Iain Conn said: “2016 was a year of robust performance and progress in implementing our customer-focused strategy.
“We delivered our key objectives including improved customer service and more innovative offerings and solutions – while repositioning the portfolio, building capability and driving significant cost efficiencies.
“2016 was a busy year for the team, but we have delivered a lot, and Centrica enters 2017 a stronger company – with encouraging underlying momentum and positioned to deliver longer-term returns and growth.”
By Mark Lammey
Source: Energy Voice
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