Increased profits! So what ?

Yesterday I heard a triumphant announcement that Next’s sales over the Christmas period had lead to an increase in their share price of 12% and that the profits predictions grew to £747 million.

Later, a consumer program discussion centred around why energy companies insist that customers are always two months in credit. A consultant said that because energy companies pay for energy in advance, they could not afford to be without money upfront from customers. Poor little corporate things.

Now I could go into a anti-privatisation rant here on the basis that if, with all the duplication of management and marketing etc., energy is actually getting cheaper then surely a unified well organised and nationalised energy industry would make it even cheaper ? ….. and yes it would need a new way of encouraging efficiency.

No – today my thought process is more about the changing place of business in our lives. I don’t remember when I was a kid, that we had news like we get these days about profits etc.. It’s almost as if we should be pleased about Next’s increase in profits (though it is, of course, of no benefit to most of us) and take into consideration how difficult it must be for an energy supply company to survive without using money from customers. The consultant said it would be difficult under the companies model – failing to mention that the model is based on profit making. In short, it feels like we the public have been given some sort of responsibility to ensure that business is successful! The energy company has a model in order to be as profitable as it can be and we are expected to accept, and even actually empathise with this – so they then use our money – our credit, which is not for services already rendered, to ensure their profitability.

is that right, in anyway?

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