British utility Centrica posted a 5.6% fall in first-half profit, revealing a strong performance from its British Gas retail operations.

Operating profits at British Gas jumped 56% to £476m off the back of lower commodity prices and high demand during colder than expected weather in January and February.

Centrica, cut prices for its British Gas customers by 10% this year, saying any further cuts in prices for household customers were dependent on several factors, including the weather.

Sales for the first-half were up to £11.66bn versus £10bn previously, while operating profit fell to £936m from £992m.

Analysts currently forecast an operating profit of £1.88bn for 2009, down from £1.97bn in 2008 according to Reuters Estimates.