Scottish Power warns of further price rises

24-08-2006

Scottish Power has said that customers should expect further price rises.

Announcing a sharp jump in profits for the 12 months to the end of March, the company said wholesale price increases would have to be passed on to consumers via higher energy bills.

Pre-tax profits were up 13 per cent to £625 million with strong performance across all of Scottish Power's business areas.

"This is an excellent set of results for Scottish Power," said chief executive Philip Bowman.

"All our businesses have delivered very good growth through improved operational performance and attractive returns on our investment programme."

But despite this encouraging performance, bills will have to increase further in the coming months.

Retail price rises, Mr Bowman said, were "unavoidable in the short-term" because of "continuing high wholesale prices".

Most households have seen the cost of their energy bills rise significantly over the last year, which has squeezed consumer spending but is nonetheless causing inflationary pressures.

As a result, commentators expect interest rates to go up before the end of the year, as the Bank of England's monetary policy committee seeks to keep inflation on target.

With oil prices remaining volatile and growing concerns about the security of future supplies, energy remains high on the political agenda.


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