Centrica Chief Executive Sam Laidlaw
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Centrica defends prices as British Gas profits jump 24%

Operating profits at British Gas rose 24% in 2010 to £742m, its parent company Centrica has said.

The news comes two months after the utility firm announced a 7% rise in domestic energy bills, which it blamed on rising wholesale prices.

Speaking to the BBC, Centrica Chief Executive Sam Laidlaw said the company had put off increasing its prices "for as long as we could" and was "making profits for a purpose".

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