Gas firm Firmus Energy's profits double in last year
Natural gas distributor Firmus Energy has announced a doubling of profits in the last year - just a week after revealing it would cut prices for some customers by up to 10%.
Profits jumped from £4.7m in 2013 to £9.6m in 2014 and yesterday the company said it will reinvest the money in developing the network further.
Revenue at Firmus Energy Distribution - the part of the business that lays pipes - rose by 44% from £15.9m to £22.9m.
The other side of the business, Firmus Energy Supply, saw losses of £2.1m.
When Firmus started supplying energy in 2006, the licence allowed it to to sell gas below the full cost price in order to allow it to maximise the number of connections.
Firmus energy is now required by the Utility Regulator to charge the full cost of distributing its gas, since the Ten Towns domestic market opened for competition on April 1, 2015.
Last week, the company revealed it would cut prices by 10% for customers in the greater Belfast area and by 5% for customers in the Ten Towns area.
The differing costs are down to separate domestic markets in the two areas.
Over 24,000 customers in the Ten Towns area, including Antrim, Ballymena, Londonderry and Newry, will still pay more than customers in Belfast.
The typical annual firmus energy bill for a customer in the Ten Towns area will be £587, down from £618.
Customers in Belfast will typically pay £516, down from £573.