Letter: Gas company is bubbling well

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Sir: I refer to your article on Eastern Natural Gas ("Eastern set to lose millions in dash for gas", 2 September). In a fiercely competitive market Eastern Natural Gas (ENG) has achieved very significant growth, with turnover rising from pounds 1m in 1992 to in excess of pounds 200m by the end of September 1996. Since its inception five years ago, ENG has traded profitably. In 1996, we will also trade over a billion therms of gas.

We are now the largest independent gas supplier in the country and continue to seek new customers in every sector. We are signing up 250 new customers a week in the industrial/business market.

As a result of the growth of ENG the historical "take-or-pay" contracts are a small percentage of sales. This makes Eastern Natural Gas different from its competitors, who are largely selling gas purchased before the fall in the spot market last year. ENG now has gas costs significantly below its major competitors.

What Chris Godsmark fails to grasp is the unique size and integrated nature of Eastern Group. Eastern is extremely well positioned to lead and effectively compete in the newly emerging gas markets.

J F DEVANEY

Executive Chairman

Eastern Group plc

Ipswich

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