July 31, 2013 / 6:38 AM / in 5 years

Centrica H1 earnings rise 2 pct on North Sea output

LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) - British utility Centrica posted a 2 percent rise in adjusted earnings over the first half of the year, spurred by higher output from North Sea gas fields.

The company made 767 million pounds ($1.2 billion) in adjusted earnings and overall revenue rose 14 percent to 13.7 billion, Centrica said on Wednesday.

Its upstream business posted a 16 percent rise in operating profit to 802 million pounds as production from its Norwegian fields more than doubled year on year.

Operating profit at the company’s U.S. retail arm increased by 6 percent and Centrica emphasised North America was more attractive than the UK for acquisitions.

“The low gas price makes acquisitions in North America relatively attractive compared to the UK, where costs are increasing,” Centrica said in its half-year statement.

The utility on Tuesday announced the acquisition of Hess Corp’s energy retail business for about $1 billion.

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