LONDON, April 13 Britain's largest energy
supplier Centrica could face a more than 100 million
pound ($125 million) hit to its bottom line after announcing an
extension to an outage at its Rough storage field, analysts
Centrica had closed the storage site, a depleted gas field
in the North Sea, to gas injections on concerns about the safety
of some of its wells. On Wednesday, it extended the outage to
April 2018 from June 2017.
The utility had already warned in February that its storage
business, which swung to an operating loss for a first time last
year, would slip further into the red this year because of the
problems at the Rough site.
Analysts are now expecting those losses to come in at the
higher end of the spectrum as the extended outage will curb
revenue Centrica would have made from gas traders storing fuel.
"The direct impact on Centrica will be a likely EBIT loss of
in excess of 100 million pounds ($125 million) in 2017 for the
storage division," said analysts at RBC Capital Markets.
Barclays analysts echoed the assessment, saying the unit's
loss will likely be closer to Centrica's worst-case scenario of
a 110 million pound loss.
Analysts at Credit Suisse said the news meant it had reduced
Centrica's Earnings Per Share (EPS) forecast by 0.6 pence per
Shares in Centrica, which runs operates the British Gas
brand, were down 1 percent at 0955 GMT, slightly worse than the
0.5 percent loss on London's FTSE 100 index.
($1 = 0.7975 pounds)
(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; Editing by Keith Weir)