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Centrica loses 823,000 customers in second half of 2017

The UK energy supplier and owner of British Gas, Centrica, has announced its loss of 823,000 accounts between the end of June and the end of October.

The company warned that its full year earning will be lower than market forecasts predicted due to competition and unprecedented warmer weather.

This has led to Centrica’s shares dropping 15% - 24.3p at 139.0p – landing them at the top FTSE 100 faller.

The energy company expects its full year adjusted earnings per share (EPS) to be approximately 12.5p, which is significantly lower than the consensus estimate.

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A one-off impact of 0.8p per share from a £46mn (US$61.2mn) writedown in North America is included in the EPS guidance.

“A profit warning amid falling customer numbers and price pressure means that shares in Centrica are showing a double-digit fall in early trade, amid worries over the long-term sustainability of the dividend,” reported Russ Mould from AJ Bell.

“If the shares stay down at those levels the owner of British Gas will become the ninth current FTSE 100 member firm to have suffered a drop of 10% or more in a single trading day this year.”

Centrica is still on track for meeting the targets set for 2017, which include net debt between £2.5bn ($3.3bn) and £3bn ($3.99bn) and more than £2bn ($2.66bn) for adjusted operating cash flow.

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