A few days ago, I emailed Centrica to tell them that I could not determine what their UK profit was from their accounts. I made the perfectly logical statement:
We have a regulator for energy who does even have the gumption to demand that these companies produce data fit for regulatory purposes that they put on public record. Without demanding this information it is a logical conclusion that company like Centrica that owns British Gas does not reveal enough UK data in its accounts to show just what it makes in this country, making a mockery of its name.
Nick Luff from Centrica said I was wrong, saying in his mail that:
As discussed, can I refer you to page 37 of our 2012 annual report which shows the split of our pre-tax profits and tax charge between the UK and the rest of the world.
Well, I looked at page 37 and this is what I found:
Now forgive the dripping sarcasm, but I can’t see any reference to the UK, can you?
And even if I could I probably would then spend hours trying, and failing, to reconcile this number against something which had actually been audited.
So I would appreciate it if Centrica didn’t waste any more of my time and now adopt county-by-county reporting for my benefit in future. And if they could ensure that this non-standard element of the accounts is audited for me that would, candidly, be the minimum recompense for such a negligent waste of my time.
You see, I’ve spent the best part of two days looking at these accounts and I’m baffled. So Centrica must be behaving immorally in some manner, though I know not what exactly.
I mean, if they did I would candidly be the laughing stock of the accounting, political economist and Justice for Taxes communities. And rightly so!
Thankfully, I am absolutely certain that is not the case.