July 30 (Renewables Now) - UK energy services company Centrica plc (LON:CNA) is heading towards a lower carbon future with the announcement on Tuesday that it intends to exit oil and gas production by end-2020.
Centrica is looking to establish itself as “a leading international Energy Services and Solutions provider” and will do so through the sale of its majority stake in exploration and production (E&P) company Spirit Energy and the previously announced plan to dispose of its interest in nuclear power generation. The E&P exit will be done via a trade sale.
“This major refocusing of our portfolio will unlock further efficiencies enabling us to be even more cost-competitive, as we focus on being a leading Energy Services and Solutions provider,” said group CEO Iain Conn. Also today, it was unveiled that Conn had agreed with the company’s board to step down as CEO and retire from the board next year. He will retain his current position at least until the 2020 annual general meeting.
The announcement of Conn’s future departure comes as the company reported a 49% plunge in first-half adjusted operating profit to GBP 399 million (USD 486m/EUR 436m) and a 58% reduction of its interim dividend to GBP 0.015 per share.
On a separate note, though still linked to Centrica’s lower-carbon tuning, the company has agreed a partnership with Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) to offer new electric vehicle (EV) services in the UK and Ireland. More specifically, the pair will seek to deliver a dedicated home charging installation service and EV tariffs from British Gas and Bord Gais Energy. These will lead to a reduction in energy prices for overnight charging.
Centrica said it will make its installation service available to support hundreds of Ford dealerships across the UK and Ireland.
(GBP 1.0 = USD 1.218/EUR 1.092)