British Gas owner Centrica set to slash dividend


British Gas owner Centrica set to slash dividend as chief executive Iain Conn makes ‘last-chance saloon’ effort to save his reputation

British Gas owner Centrica is set to slash its dividend as chief executive Iain Conn makes a ‘last-chance saloon’ effort to save his reputation.

The move would place it alongside Vodafone and Marks & Spencer as an income stock that has cut its payout this year.

Hit hard: The energy giant's market value has fallen from £14 billion when Conn joined to £5.3 billion

Hit hard: The energy giant’s market value has fallen from £14 billion when Conn joined to £5.3 billion

The energy giant’s market value has fallen from £14 billion when Conn joined to £5.3 billion today.

The company plans to shift from power generation to selling hi-tech services to households as part of the ‘connected home’ business, which sells smart meters and boiler insurance. It made losses of £85m last year.

The supply business lost 742,000 customers last year, suffered due to warm UK weather and has reliability problems in its co-owned fleet of nuclear power stations.

Conn will present a strategy update and half-year results to investors on July 30. A City source said Conn was in the ‘last-chance saloon’ and that ‘unless he comes up with something credible, he won’t survive’.



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