- Energy company Centrica said it had agreed to sell North American business Direct Energy to NRG Energy for $3.625bn.

The British Gas owner also narrowed first-half losses said it expected a recovery in energy demand to continue into the second half of the year.

Proceeds from the sale would be used to cut debt and contribute to the company's defined benefit pension schemes.

For the period ended 30 June 2020, pre-tax losses narrowed to £264m from £569m on-year, while revenue fell 7.5% to £10.7bn.

The uptick in profit was driven by a gain from certain net re-measurements after tax of £459m, compared to a loss from these certain re-measurements in the first half of 2019, the company said. The company did not declare an interim dividend.

Looking ahead, as lockdowns ease in its core markets, the company said it had already seen some recovery in energy demand and more normal sales of services and solutions.

'We would expect these trends to continue into the second half of the year, assuming a second wave of Covid-19 does not lead to further severe lockdowns in our core markets,' it added.

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