Centrica shares crash on chain of negative announcements

Centrica shares crash on chain of negative announcements

Centrica shares crash on chain of negative announcements

Centrica posted a 49% drop in adjusted operating profit in its interim results on Tuesday.

The company also cut its dividend, announced its intentions to exit oil and gas production, and revealed that its CEO Iain Conn will step down next year.

Shares in the company were trading at a 21-year low following the chain of negative announcements.

The owner of British Gas said that adjusted operating profit for the period ended 30 June fell 49% from £782 million recorded in 2018 to £399 million.

Centrica also outlined that it had swung to a statutory operating loss of £446 million, compared to the £704 million profit made a year prior.

The company’s interim dividend per share of 1.5p is well below the 3.6p from the first half of 2018, with the full year 2019 expected dividend reduced to 5p, Centrica added.

Centrica said that the environment has been extremely challenging in the first half of 2019. Its business has been impacted by the implementation of the UK default tariff price cap, low UK natural gas prices and warmer than normal weather both in the UK and North America.

At the end of last year, Centrica said it would legally challenge the government’s energy price cap.

“Centrica faced an exceptionally challenging environment in the first half of 2019, which impacted earnings and cash flows. We have also regrettably had to make the decision to rebase the dividend due to our changed circumstances including the UK energy price cap and increased demands on our cash flows, including additional pension contributions,” Iain Conn, group Chief Executive, said in a company statement.

“The outlook is more positive for the second half of the year and we expect this momentum to continue into 2020, while we expect to meet our cash flow and net  targets for 2019,” the group Chief Executive continued.

“Today, we have announced our intention to exit oil and gas production. This will complete our shift towards the customer, as we focus on our distinctive strengths, with an emphasis on helping our customers transition to a lower carbon future.”

“This major refocusing of our portfolio will unlock further efficiencies enabling us to be even more cost competitive, as we focus on being a leading Energy Services and Solutions provider.”

Shares in Centrica plc (LON:CNA) were trading at -13.97% as of 10:45 BST Tuesday.