Cold Winter Boosts E.On Profits By 15%
Profits at energy firm E.on surged by almost 15% in the first half of the year, boosted by the cold start to 2013.
The company, one of the so-called "big six" UK energy suppliers, said it made £273m in the first six months of 2013.
This is an increase of 14.7% on the same period in 2012.
E.On insisted its profit margin was on a similar level to the previous year despite a rise to 6.25% from 5.97%.
It was the last of the major players in the market to hike its bills - by an average 8.7% - having pledged to keep its pricing on hold during 2012.
The industry has blamed price increases largely on soaring wholesale prices and none of the top six firms has been able to rule out further rises to bills ahead of the coming winter.
E.On, which has around five million customers in the UK, has insisted it does not make excessive profits.
While its UK business saw profits grow 15%, the E.On group suffered a 15% fall in earnings for the half year.
UK chief executive Tony Cocker said: "We are continuing to work hard for our customers, make improvements to service and operate a sustainable business that delivers a fair profit.
"The colder start to the year meant more energy has been used, so sales are up; the costs we control have come down at a time when those we don't control are continuing to rise; meaning that ultimately whilst our profit has increased slightly our overall supply profit margin is very much in line with last year.
"Our absolute focus remains on simplifying our products, improving our customer service and, quite simply, making sure we do the right thing."
He concluded: "The proof of all the changes we've made is evident in improving customer feedback."
The energy regulator Ofgem recently revealed that the "big six", which also include British Gas, nPower, SSE, EDF and Scottish Power, collectively made more than £3bn in profits over the last three years on the back of a £300 annual rise in bills.
Last month, nPower estimated that bills would increase by a further £240 by 2020 - £100 more than the Government's estimates.