Centrica considers financial PR options

Centrica, the recently demerged supply arm of British Gas, may seek out a PR agency to assist with its financial communications.

Centrica, the recently demerged supply arm of British Gas, may seek

out a PR agency to assist with its financial communications.



The company, which split off from exploration and pipeline business BG

in February, is considering recruiting an agency to supplement its

ten-strong group corporate affairs department. Centrica also intends to

hire a permanent investor relations chief to replace Jenny Younger, who

joined Glaxo Wellcome last year.



Director of corporate affairs Simon Lewis stressed that there was as yet

no active search for an agency and that it was still unclear what

responsibilities a chosen adviser would be expected to assume.



’We will at some stage appoint a financial PR agency,’ he said. ’It’s

something which a new company like ours has to think about. Financial PR

is a specialist area and having an external adviser is best

practice.’



Since the demerger Centrica has been embroiled in controversy over its

decision to offer selective price cuts to domestic customers in the

south-west where competition was introduced in May. Independent gas

suppliers argue that the price reductions threaten competition and the

industry regulator Clare Spottiswoode has launched an inquiry into the

issue.



Centrica is also struggling to lessen the financial burden from its

’take-or-pay’ contracts with oil companies by which it is compelled to

buy gas at inflated prices.



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