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The company announced the huge rise in profits this morning (February 25) and come shortly after it announced cuts to bills.

Company chairman Roger Carr said ‘improved service levels’ and ‘efficiency’ had contributed to the profits.

However, the lower bills have not seen of attacks from consumer bodies who today called for further cuts.

Consumer Focus said the ‘rude health’ enjoyed by British Gas and other energy companies, combined with tumbling wholesale costs, means companies should ‘now play fair and cut customer bills’.

Deputy chief executive at Consumer Focus, Philip Cullum, said: “Energy companies have no excuses for not cutting bills for their customers. It is clear the problems in the energy market are profound and that it requires fundamental reform.

“Unlike the other members of ‘the Big 6’, British Gas reports its results in detail and so takes much of the flak that deserves to be shared with the other companies. If ever a market was crying out for greater transparency it is the current UK energy market.

“Our big energy companies are producers and generators as well as retailers. As producers they do very well when wholesale costs are high, as retailers they do very well when wholesale costs are low. It really is a case of heads they win, tails we lose.”

Luke Walsh

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