NPower announces profit rise of 41 per cent

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The Independent Online

Fresh concern over the prices charged by energy companies was aroused yesterday when nPower, the country's fourth biggest supplier, announced a 41 per cent leap in profits.

Its German parent company RWE said its UK business, which has the second worst record on complaints after British Gas, made £544m last year.

The disclosure came a day after British Gas revealed a 500 per cent jump in profits to £571m. Ofgem, the regulator, has launched an investigation into whether the "Big Six" – British Gas, EDF, E.On, nPower, ScottishPower and Scottish & Southern – have been exploiting their dominance.

RWE nPower was the first supplier to increase bills in 2008, raising gas by 17 per cent and electricity by 13 per cent. An nPower spokesman said: "We saw major performance improvements from our power stations in 2007 – which gave us an acceptable level of profit for the first time since 2003, even though our retail business actually had a very difficult year."