WINDSOR, UK—UK energy giant Centrica has called in Bell Pottinger as it seeks to rebuild investor confidence following a profit warning last year.

The decision to shift corporate and financial PR duties follows a competitive review that featured several of the UK's top city PR firms, attracted by a budget that is thought to be upwards of £500k. Centrica parts ways with seven-year incumbent agency RLM Finsbury. 

Best known for owning British Gas, Centrica is active in all aspects of the energy chain, including exploration, production, generation and storage. A top-30 FTSE100 company, Centrica's revenues in 2012 reached almost £24bn, although it admitted in its most recent management statement that rising costs are "damaging investor confidence".

"We were looking for a comms advisor which could meet our requirements, in terms of financial and corporate communications advice," said a Centrica spokersperson. "Bell Pottinger proved to be, for our needs, the strongest candidate."

Prior to the profit warning, Centrica's British Gas unit announced a price hike of 9.2%, sparking fierce public opposition and the threat of a government freeze on energy prices.

The company, which supplies 12 million homes in the UK, has since said that it will cut energy bills following an official review of green levies.

"We are delighted to be working with them on an exciting, integrated brief," said Bell Pottinger CEO James Henderson.