Centrica to pay out extra pounds 530m
Thursday 25 February 1999
The 12p-a-share payout is the first dividend from Centrica, the trading and supply arm of British Gas, since it was demerged from the pipeline and exploration division, BG, two years ago.
The pounds 530m distribution, equivalent to 10 per cent of Centrica's market capitalisation, came as Centrica made its first pre-tax profit and said it planned bids for both the RAC's roadside breakdown service and National Power's giant Drax power station in Yorkshire.
Centrica's ambitious expansion plans will also see it boost its services division into a pounds 750m-a-year business within three years. Among the additional services Centrica may offer to its 15.5 million customers are car insurance, electrical repairs, home shopping and a remote diagnostic service for the "robotic" home of the future. Mortgages may also be offered alongside its successful Goldfish credit card, which now has 900,000 customers.
Centrica also claimed it was winning the war in the energy market, saying it had now signed up more than 1 million electricity customers, giving it 4 per cent of the market - more households than the smallest regional electricity company, Swalec.
The aim is to capture 4 million electricity customers to offset the 4 million gas customers it has lost since the domestic market was liberalised in 1996.
Roy Gardner, chief executive, said Centrica could do this without buying a regional electricity company. Last year Centrica spent pounds 86m building up its electricity business.
Centrica intends to bid for Drax, Britain's biggest power station with an output of 4,000 megawatts, as part of a consortium. It may pair up with one of the bidders that has pulled out of the auction for the two coal-fired stations being sold by PowerGen, Ferrybridge and Fiddlers Ferry.
There are thought to be three bidders left in the PowerGen auction - British Energy, Scottish and Southern Energy and the US utility NRG.
Mr Gardner would not be drawn on how much Centrica was prepared to bid for the RAC's motoring services arm. But it is certain to be substantially less than the pounds 450m offered by Cendant of the US before its bid was blocked.
The special 12p a share dividend is payable in June and is being accompanied by a nine for 10 share consolidation. Centrica also intends to pay a dividend of 2.5p for the current year. Pre-tax profits were pounds 89m, compared with a pounds 791m loss in 1997, after charges linked to the unwinding of take-or- pay gas contracts.
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
- 3 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 4 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
Lost portraits of the Somme: 100 images of Tommies posing before they went over the top. Now can you help to identify them?
Israel-Gaza conflict: 'When Genocide is Permissible' article removed from The Times of Israel website
Mystery of the Siberian holes at the end of the world 'solved': Scientists offer explanation
Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£300 - £350 per day: Orgtel: Financial Analyst, Forecasting, Halifax, Banking,...
£500 per day: Orgtel: Business Architect - Banking - Bristol - £500 per day A...
£200 - £500 per day + competitive: Orgtel: I am currently working on a large p...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...