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British Gas owner Centrica seeks 'restored trust'

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Image caption Centrica said British Gas had been loss-making for a number of months this year

Energy suppliers and politicians both have a role to play in restoring trust in the energy industry, Centrica, the owner of British Gas, has said.

In a trading update, the company said increased wholesale, transport and environmental costs had forced it to raise customer bills by 9.2%.

It said British Gas had been loss-making for a number of months this year, forcing it to raise prices.

The company described "unprecedented times" for the energy sector in the UK.

"Intense public and political debate over rising bills... is happening at a time when the costs of securing and supplying energy are increasing," Centrica said in a statement.

"Energy suppliers and politicians both have a role to play in helping to minimise the impact of higher costs on bills and improving transparency to restore trust in the industry."

It said it expected full-year profits this year to be the same as last year. It expects its profit margin on UK residential energy supply to be slightly lower, at a little under 5%.

Last week Centrica's chief executive Sam Laidlaw said he would not take his bonus this year, with trust in the energy industry at an "all-time low".

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