UPDATE 2-UK's Centrica says prefers U.S. for acquisitions
* Lower costs make U.S. more interesting for M&A than UK
* But UK still core market - Finance Director
* Adjusted earnings rise 2 pct to 767 million pounds
* Gas power generation loses 64 million pounds
* Shares up 1 pct vs 0.6 pct FTSE 100 increase
By Karolin Schaps
LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) - Centrica Plc sees the United States as a more attractive market for acquisitions than its home ground, it said on Wednesday, implying a shift in focus to North America for one of Britain's largest energy investors.
The comments from the group, owner of Britain's biggest natural gas supplier British Gas, came a day after it said it was buying Hess Corp's U.S. energy retail arm for around $1 billion, a move that followed a joint deal with Qatar in April to buy oil and gas assets in Canada from Suncor Energy Inc .
"The low gas price makes acquisitions in North America relatively attractive compared to the UK, where costs are increasing," Centrica said on Wednesday. Continued...