- Centrica posted solid third-quarter performance with higher margins and growth in its customer base.

The energy group also reported strong trading and optimisation performance in Europe, and acceleration of cost efficiency delivery. These offset the impact of further extensions to outages at the Dungeness B and Hunterston B nuclear power stations.

It also experienced lower near-term European wholesale gas prices, although 2019 exploration and production earnings were largely protected by forward hedging.

Customer account holdings were stable in its business arm and increased by 214,000 in Centrica Consumer in the four months to October, with growth of 528,000 in the 10 months to October.

The company said there was no change to its earnings guidance issued with the interim results in July. Adjusted operating cash flow is expected to be in the lower half of the targeted £1.8-2.0bn range and year end net debt to be within the targeted £3.0-3.5bn range.

It also expects capital investment of around £800m, a reduction of £100m compared to indications at the time of interim results, and in-year efficiency savings of around £300m, an increase of £50m compared to the target of £250m. Story provided by