British Gas' parent company, Centrica, has announced a 24% increase in profits for the energy company as utility bills rise.

The rise saw profits for the energy company standing at £742 million, with operating profits for Centrica rising to £2.4 billion - an increase of 29%.

Centrica put this "strong result" down to record service calls during the cold weather, as well as a 267,000 increase in residential energy customer accounts. The number of customers taking out service contracts with the company also rose by 265,000.

This report comes just a few weeks after all the major energy companies announced an average 7% increase in domestic energy bills, which was described as necessary due to "record wholesale energy prices".