British Gas owner to cut 4,000 jobs as profits slide 17%

British Gas owner to cut 4,000 jobs as profits slide 17%

The firm that owns British Gas, Centrica, is culling 4,000 jobs as part of a cost-cutting plan.

The energy supplier, which also has operations in North America and Ireland, has struggled to keep customers, with the firm’s British Gas business losing nine per cent of its UK domestic customers in 2017.

Group profits dropped 17% to £1.25billion.

Chief Executive, Iain Conn said the firm had a ‘weak’ second half of 2017, due to political and regulatory intervention in the UK – BBC reports.

He told the publication that the job losses were partly due to customers moving to digital and ‘intense’ competition. It was not revealed where the cuts will take place, but UK workers are likely to be hit. 

Conn added that the likely introduction of a price cap on energy in the UK is another reason for the job losses, as it dented the company’s shares. 

In October, Prime Minister Theresa May vowed to tackle “rip-off energy prices”. A cap to common gas and electricity tariffs could come into effect by Christmas 2018. 

Trade union Unison have slammed British Gas for squeezing staff and customers and said it expects "more misery to come” for Centrica workers – The Independent reports.

The firm said, however, that investment in technology and simplification to its core processes could save £1.25billion a year by 2020. It also expects to create around 1,000 additional roles across three departments within the next two years.

"There is a link between our cost efficiency programme and preparing for any price cap in the UK,” Conn said. “We've got to be competitive and this measure means we've got to drive more efficiency."

Centrica currently employs 33,138 people worldwide and has over 2,600 staff based in the UK.

Have you enjoyed this piece?

Subscribe now to myGrapevine+ and get access to exclusive new content, and the full content archive.

Be the first to comment.

You are currently previewing this article.

This is the last preview available to you for 30 days.

To access more news, features, columns and opinions every day, create a free myGrapevine account.