Scottish Power has been criticised after announcing a boost in profits just as it increased its household energy bills.
The group owned by the Spanish firm Iberdrola said profits of the UK division had doubled to £123 million during the first quarter of 2018, up from £58 million last year.
However, earlier in April it became the third Big Six energy company to increase its gas and electricity prices, blaming government policy and an increase in wholesale costs – highlighting the political sensitivity of its prices and profits as the energy sector prepare for the introduction of a price cap on standard variable tariffs (SVTs).
The company played down the increase in profits by saying profits in 2017 had been unusually low.
Keith Anderson, chief executive, said: “The first three months of the year has seen the business recover to a level just below [the first quarter] in 2016. With the price cap pending this year, we still expect a challenging environment for the retail business in 2018.”
However, Scottish Power has also come under criticism. Lily Green of Look After My Bills, said: “Scottish Power are an absolute joke. Last week, they hit their most loyal customers with a price rise and then this week announce a profit surge. Customers will rightly be asking why the price rise was necessary.”