Gas and electricity Updated:
Scottish Power has been criticised for doubling its profits in 2012, as households battle to make ends meet in the face of rising gas and electricity bills.
The energy group announced today that its pre-tax profits last year amounted to £712 million, more than double the £350 million reported for 2011.
The announcement has angered consumer groups, which argue that the energy company is raking in money at a time when thousands of its customers were forced to turn off their heating last winter due to rising energy bills.
In October last year Scottish Power announced its gas and electricity prices would be increasing by 7%, bringing the average annual dual fuel bill to £1,271.
"These high profits come out of the pockets of hard-pressed consumers, many of whom are already struggling to make ends meet,' said Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice.
"Citizens Advice bureaux across Britain see too many families forced to choose between heating and eating, or running up debts so that they can afford to keep their homes warm and dry. Energy firms must start putting their customers above their shareholders and do more to curb price rises and keep bills low."
Scottish Power said its profits were partly boosted by the inclusion of figures from its renewables business for the first time, which amounted to £64 million.
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