Pensioners protest
Demonstrators hold food trays made into placards as they chat before a march to the headquarters of energy company Npower during a protest against energy pricesReuters

Budget utility provider Telecom Plus reported a 21.3% surge in statutory pre-tax profits in its financial year to 31 March 2015, despite fierce competition in the market.

The company, listed on the FTSE 250, announced on 23 June that it managed to increase its margins by 1 percentage point to 15.9% and it lifted its dividend by 14.3% to 40p.

In the press release, CEO Andres Lindsay said: "I am very pleased with the double digit growth that we have delivered in the face of unprecedented headwinds this year, and take confidence from this strong endorsement of our unique business model."

Telecom's revenue rose 10.5% to £729.2m (€1,022, $1,152), largely fuelled by an increase of almost 10% in the amount of services provided by the company in the year, which passed 2 million.

Basic earnings per share rose 9.3% and Lindsay said the company hopes to increase dividend over its 2016 financial year by another 15% to 46p.

Regulation

Although Telecom Plus performed well during the year, it did mention the strong competition in the markets and expressed its support for the Conflict and Markets Authority as well as the government in plans to make the 'big six' energy firms cut their prices.

Lindsay said: "We wholly support the pressure that the Secretary of State is applying to the 'Big 6' energy suppliers to pass their lower wholesale costs onto the majority of their customers, by reducing their standard variable tariffs."

The treasury announced an investigation into the Big Six energy firms, consisting of EDF, British Gas, SSE, Scottish Power, Npower and E.On to, find out why they had not cut prices despite a fall in wholesale costs.

"We encourage the Competition and Markets Authority to be bold in addressing the fundamentally unfair and increasingly prevalent practices in the energy markets that are clearly detrimental to the majority of UK consumers," Lindsay added.