Centrica, which owns British Gas, reports “high levels of competitive intensity” in a trading statement published today. Say what? Why not “intense competition”, which is immediately understandable in two words rather than flatulent over five. Whether the writer intended it or not, all that verbiage also makes it look as if the company is trying to hide something, although not very successfully as it turns out. Centrica admits it lost another 110,000 energy supply accounts in the first quarter of the year, which it tries to brush off as “largely reflecting market switching trends”. Translation from the corporate: our competitors keep eating our lunch. Come on Centrica, your business is supplying gas, not blowing smoke.