That\’s interesting Polly

but British Gas dare not say anything about a 27% rise in profits, refusing to face the Today programme to explain why.

I hadn\’t known that the Today program was now part of the economic governance of the country. A Star Chamber before which a business must explain itself.

13 thoughts on “That\’s interesting Polly”

  1. Philip Scott Thomas

    “The eyes of the world are on us.”

    I swear to God, if I hear one more intellectually bereft, lazy-arsed journalist say “the eyes of the world are on us” I am going to go full Violet Elizabeth Bott.

  2. British Gas no longer exists as a company – it was split into three in 1997, so it can’t do *anything*.
    Centrica explained the rise in its profits in its residential energy division was due to the colder weather, compared to an unusually mild period in 2011, so customers used more gas and operational gearing led to higher profits than the unusually depressed levels in 2011. There were minor benefits from cost-cutting and higher tariffs but the answer is basically two words – “the weather”.

  3. “The weather” is the reason British Airways denied paying compensation for cancelling my recent domestic flight with them.

  4. Polly wanted Centrica to appear before the court of public opinion controlled by like minded, economically dumb journos. They were to jeer and scoff with the best of them.

  5. I’d go on “Today” like a shot, and ask the twats about their taxes and National Insurance. They’d hardly get a word in edgeways as I harassed them, jeered at them, implied that they ottabeinjail, and so forth. Wot larks. Like being a fresher in a common room a million years ago. Put ’em to the sword!

  6. “I hadn’t known that the Today program was now part of the economic governance of the country. A Star Chamber before which a business must explain itself.”

    You haven’t been paying attention. The BBC/Guardian Expertise in Everything Act was passed back in 1997.

  7. Are British Gas profits somehow excessive for the amount spent? Say 50%?
    Or are they as a percentage of total income broadly similar to what other companies, who aren’t supplying power or gas, announce as a percentage?
    eg if british gas is 8% (or whatever it is), is that similar to a furniture company, a bank, a retailer etc in terms of percentage?

  8. @ Martin Davies
    Centrica’s residential customer division’s profit margin recovered from 6.9% to 7.2% – still well below anything that the banks would think acceptable if you asked them to lend you money based on your business plan.

  9. Ah, so in reality its doing OK as a business but not generating vast profits.
    Thanks guys.

    Media and Polly focus on the wrong thing as usual.

  10. Martin, that type of distortion is a perennial in Oz every time profit reporting season rolls around, usually focused on the “record profits” of our major banks, followed by the usual blather about bank fees. Virtually every year is a record in dollar terms due to inflation and growth. “4 billion profit” looks better in the headline than “Banks generate 10% ROI again, just like last year, as you would expect from a mature industry”.

    They’re certainly healthy businesses, but hardly ripping people off.

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