Perth-based electricity and gas company SSE, which operates mainly in the UK and Ireland, stated today that its retail arm is expected to report a loss on its adjusted profit before tax in the first half of the company’s financial year.
According to the company, the expected loss is a result of increases in wholesale gas prices, higher costs and lower energy consumption. SSE saw an operating profit at its retail arm of GBP75.7m in the first half of 2012 and a GBP101.4m loss in the same period of 2011.
However, despite the predictions SSE said it is on target to raise dividend payments to its shareholders, which will exceed retail price inflation for the 2013-14 financial year. It also expects its wholesale and networks divisions to be profitable in the six months to the end of September 2013. These results will be published on Wednesday 13 November 2013.
Finance Director of SSE, Gregor Alexander, commented; “Despite challenging energy market conditions, SSE has made solid progress in recent months, including taking a number of specific steps to help small business customers and improve standards for household customers. We continue to benefit from maintaining a balanced range of energy businesses, illustrated by again meeting the criteria for a single A credit rating. Despite the intensifying political debate, we will maintain our operational and financial discipline, to enable us to deliver an above-inflation increase in the dividend for this financial year and beyond.”
SSE is said to be the second largest energy supplier in the UK and has 9.5 million customer accounts. It also has a 50% stake in the 504MW Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm.