Centrica reports strong trading

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Leading UK energy supplier Centrica has reported strong trading over the first half of the year.

The company, which owns British Gas, says that trading has risen as a result of "ongoing low spot gas prices" in the UK.

Its forecast results for the half year have been improved as a result - and analysts expect full-year profit to rise from £1.2 billion to £1.7 billion.

In early trading, the company's shares fell slightly by 2.125 pence or by 0.55 per cent in a generally lower London market.

The trading update released update did not address rumours that the company might be the subject of a possible takeover bid - with Russian firm Gazprom said to be eyeing the UK's largest energy provider.

In May of this year, the company said that it expected full-year profits to come in above forecast "due to the significant out-performance already seen in the first half".

The Windsor-based company has cut its prices twice over the year so far and it has boosted its residential customer base to the 15.8 million mark.

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