Financial Express (Holdings) Limited (“we”, “our”, “us” and derivatives) are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. This Privacy Policy, together with our Terms of Use, sets out the basis on which any personal data that we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by us relating to your use of any of the below websites (“sites”).

  • FEAnalytics.com
  • FEInvest.net
  • FETransmission.com
  • Investegate.co.uk
  • Trustnet.hk
  • Trustnetoffshore.com
  • Trustnetmiddleeast.com

For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998, the data controller is Trustnet Limited of 2nd Floor, Golden House, 30 Great Pulteney Street, London, W1F 9NN. Our nominated representative for the purpose of this Act is Kirsty Witter.

WHAT INFORMATION DO WE COLLECT ABOUT YOU?

We collect information about you when you register with us or use any of our websites / services. Part of the registration process may include entering personal details & details of your investments.

We may collect information about your computer, including where available your operating system, browser version, domain name and IP address and details of the website that you came from, in order to improve this site.

You confirm that all information you supply is accurate.

COOKIES

In order to provide personalised services to and analyse site traffic, we may use a cookie file which is stored on your browser or the hard drive of your computer. Some of the cookies we use are essential for the sites to operate and may be used to deliver you different content, depending on the type of investor you are.

You can block cookies by activating the setting on your browser which allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies. However, if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies) you may not be able to access all or part of our sites. Unless you have adjusted your browser setting so that it will refuse cookies, our system will issue cookies as soon as you visit our sites.

HOW WE USE INFORMATION

We store and use information you provide as follows:

  • to present content effectively;
  • to provide you with information, products or services that you request from us or which may interest you, tailored to your specific interests, where you have consented to be contacted for such purposes;
  • to carry out our obligations arising from any contracts between you and us;
  • to enable you to participate in interactive features of our service, when you choose to do so;
  • to notify you about changes to our service;
  • to improve our content by tracking group information that describes the habits, usage, patterns and demographics of our customers.

We may also send you emails to provide information and keep you up to date with developments on our sites. It is our policy to have instructions on how to unsubscribe so that you will not receive any future e-mails. You can change your e-mail address at any time.

In order to provide support on the usage of our tools, our support team need access to all information provided in relation to the tool.

We will not disclose your name, email address or postal address or any data that could identify you to any third party without first receiving your permission.

However, you agree that we may disclose to any regulatory authority to which we are subject and to any investment exchange on which we may deal or to its related clearing house (or to investigators, inspectors or agents appointed by them), or to any person empowered to require such information by or under any legal enactment, any information they may request or require relating to you, or if relevant, any of your clients.

You agree that we may pass on information obtained under Money Laundering legislation as we consider necessary to comply with reporting requirements under such legislation.

ACCESS TO YOUR INFORMATION AND CORRECTION

We want to ensure that the personal information we hold about you is accurate and up to date. You may ask us to correct or remove information that is inaccurate.

You have the right under data protection legislation to access information held about you. If you wish to receive a copy of any personal information we hold, please write to us at 3rd Floor, Hollywood House, Church Street East, Woking, GU21 6HJ. Any access request may be subject to a fee of £10 to meet our costs in providing you with details of the information we hold about you.

WHERE WE STORE YOUR PERSONAL DATA

The data that we collect from you may be transferred to, and stored at, a destination outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”). It may be processed by staff operating outside the EEA who work for us or for one of our suppliers. Such staff may be engaged in, amongst other things, the provision of support services. By submitting your personal data, you agree to this transfer, storing and processing. We will take all steps reasonably necessary, including the use of encryption, to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this privacy policy.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our sites; any transmission is at your own risk. You will not hold us responsible for any breach of security unless we have been negligent or in wilful default.

CHANGES TO OUR PRIVACY POLICY

Any changes we make to our privacy policy in the future will be posted on this page and, where appropriate, notified to you by e-mail.

OTHER WEBSITES

Our sites contain links to other websites. If you follow a link to any of these websites, please note that these websites have their own privacy policies and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these policies. Please check these policies before you submit any personal data to these websites.

CONTACT

If you want more information or have any questions or comments relating to our privacy policy please email publishing@financialexpress.net in the first instance.

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Centrica PLC (CNA)

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Friday 11 May, 2012

Centrica PLC

Interim Management Statement

Interim Management Statement

Centrica PLC

Centrica Interim Management Statement

Overall, Centrica is trading in line with expectations, with the benefit of higher wholesale gas and power prices upstream broadly offsetting the impact of mild weather in the first quarter on the downstream business. We are beginning to see a contribution from our recent acquisitions, in both UK upstream gas and oil and North America; we are making further progress in delivering our upstream investment programme; and our cost reduction initiatives are successfully driving efficiency savings across the Group.

In January, British Gas announced an immediate 5% reduction in its standard domestic electricity tariff, becoming the first of the major energy suppliers to implement a reduction. This re-established British Gas as the cheapest major standard electricity supplier, on average, in Britain. However UK wholesale gas costs are around 15% higher for next winter than last, and non-commodity costs - which are also largely outside of our control – are expected to add a further £50 to the cost of supplying the average household this year. The trend for retail energy costs therefore remains upwards.

The number of residential energy customer accounts on supply is essentially unchanged from the start of the year, at 15.9m, principally reflecting our competitive electricity pricing position and high levels of customer service. Average domestic gas consumption for the four months to April was 1% higher than for the same period in 2011, with average domestic electricity consumption 3% lower. These movements reflect colder than usual weather in April 2012 following mild conditions in the first quarter, and the impact of energy efficiency measures being undertaken by customers. In business energy supply, average consumption was lower in the first four months than in 2011 for both gas and electricity, at 1% and 4% respectively, and margins continue to come under pressure in the current economic environment.

British Gas has taken the lead in raising trust through our ‘honest conversation’ campaign, and supports Government plans for transparent and simpler tariffs to help regain customers’ confidence. Our ‘tariff checker’ is helping customers to ensure that they are on the most suitable British Gas tariff for them; we have taken steps to simplify our tariff range; and we already provide each customer with a full breakdown on their bill of the actual costs of providing the energy they consume. We continue to lead the industry in the roll-out of smart meters across the UK, and welcome the Government’s recent announcement confirming the timing and required meter specification for the programme. We also continue to engage with Ofgem on its Retail Market Review, to ensure that the proposals are in the best interests of customers, and do not have unintended consequences in terms of choice or affordability.

In residential services, we remain on track to deliver double digit profit growth, primarily through cost control. The number of contract holdings increased by 37,000 in the four months to the end of April, reflecting strong customer retention, although the market for new central heating boiler installations remains challenging given the continued pressure on household budgets. We also have affinity agreements in place with Thames Water, Bristol Water and Wessex Water, enabling us to offer energy, services and energy efficiency products to a wider customer base.

In our upstream gas and oil business, we have completed the acquisitions of a package of Norwegian assets from Statoil and an additional stake in the Statfjord field from ConocoPhillips, adding 153mmboe of reserves for a combined consideration of £1.1 billion. We also expect to complete the purchase of North Sea assets from Total over the coming months, although following notification of pre-emption on approximately 40% of the assets and some 15% of near-term production, the transaction is now expected to be for 14mmboe of reserves and a consideration of $224 million (£139 million). Together, these acquisitions are forecast to add around 11mmboe of production in 2012.

On our current development projects, we have achieved first gas at Ensign and expect to bring Seven Seas, Rhyl and Atla on-stream over the course of this year. Overall we expect production to increase by around 20% in 2012. This is slightly lower than previously estimated, reflecting current expectations for production from Morecambe, our North Sea assets and our recent acquisitions. We also expect to make a final investment decision on Cygnus in the next few months, subject to project economics.

In power generation, our share of nuclear output for the first four months of 2012 totalled 3.8TWh, compared to 4.1TWh in 2011, although the average realisation in the current year to date is slightly higher. In wind generation, the average wind load factor was 30%, slightly lower than for the same period in 2011. Market clean spark spreads remain low, and gas-fired generation volumes for the first four months were 34% lower than for the same period in 2011, at 3.2TWh.

The UK Budget in March endorsed the role of gas in the generation mix, while reaffirming the Government’s commitment to carbon price support with the aim of encouraging investment in low carbon technologies. We welcome the inclusion of Electricity Market Reform in the Government’s legislative process, however further clarity is needed to deliver the investment required in new generation capacity. In offshore wind, our 270MW Lincs development remains on track to generate first power this summer with full project completion expected in 2013. A final investment decision is expected on the Race Bank offshore wind farm around the end of this year, and in March, we announced a joint venture with DONG to co-develop the Round 3 Irish Sea wind farm zone. We also retain options to deploy capital in new nuclear, biomass and new build CCGT, although with all our projects we will only proceed where there is sufficient clarity on the regulatory framework, project costs and expected returns.

In gas storage, Rough reservoir volume at the end of April was higher than average for the time of year, following the mild winter. In April, we announced that we have sold all SBUs for the 2012/13 storage year, at an average price of 33.9p, an improvement on the 2011/12 price of 25.2p. While short-term seasonal spreads show some recent improvement, we will continue to assess whether the necessary economic conditions are in place to proceed with our Baird and Caythorpe storage projects.

In North America we are benefiting from recent acquisitions and ongoing operational efficiencies, and expect to deliver further year on year profit growth in 2012. In residential energy supply, profitability in the current year is expected to be slightly reduced compared to 2011, with the impact of regulatory changes in Canada and warmer than normal weather in the year to date offsetting good customer growth in the US North East. However, in business energy supply we are continuing to deliver growth, with power volumes 9% higher in the first four months of 2012 than for the same period in 2011. We also expect to deliver further growth from our residential services activities following the integration of both Clockwork and Home Warranty of America. Upstream, US gas prices hit a ten year low during April due to low demand and plentiful supplies of shale gas. However our forward hedging, and a focus on liquids development and production, should provide some protection in 2012 and 2013.

We remain on track to deliver our £500m cost reduction programme, with half of the efficiencies expected to be delivered in 2012. This will ensure that we remain competitive both downstream and upstream, while also enabling investment in growth areas.

The Group’s interest charge is expected to be around £190 million this year, reflecting the issuance of £750m of bonds in March and a higher level of net debt following the completion of recent acquisitions. Based on current estimates, the Group’s effective tax rate is expected to be around 48%, reflecting the significantly higher proportion of operating profit from the Group’s upstream gas and oil business. At the end of April net debt stood at £4.4 billion.

Centrica is due to release its Interim Results for the first six months of 2012 on 26 July 2012.

Enquiries:

Centrica Investor Relations 01753 494900
Centrica Media Relations 0800 107 7014