Generator and DNO SSE today reported steady-state pre-tax profits up 4% to £1.07bn in the twelve months to April. Net capex held steady at £0.9bn, keeps the company on track to adding 1GW of new generating assets each year until 2030, it said.
Chair Sir John Manzoni greeted SSE’s “strong operational performance, and significant strategic progress” including disposals in power retailing and gas. Manzoni replaced Richard Gillingwater on April 1.
Today’s full-year figures are the first since SSE sold its retail business to Ovo in January 2020. Its coffers swelled by £1.5bn from that and other disposals. It anticipates a further £2bn from the sale of Scotia Gas.
Chief beneficiaries the corporation identifies for £7.5bn capex committed until 2026 will be marine wind joint ventures such as Dogger Bank, at 3.6GW the world’s largest planned offshore farm, with up to 600 turbines off Yorkshire.
The 1 GW, £3bn Seagreen farm off Angus got the green light in December from SSE and its 51% partner Total. Work began at last in September on the 103 MW Viking farm, developed with the Shetlands Islands Council, and scheduled for commissioning in 2024.
Including Shetland’s first HVDC link to the mainland, total network investment plans agreed with Ofgem under the five years of the RIIO-T2 regime are set to be around £2.8bn, Manzoni told investors.
Given necessary planning and regulatory approvals on further projects, SSE calculates its replacement asset value will top £6bn by 2026.
As Britain’s biggest quoted issuer of ‘green’ debt and a FTSE100 member, SSE has raised £2.5bn to date. Its £0.5bn raised two months ago, was its fourth visit to London’s bond markets in only five years.
SSE claims it contributed £ 5.2bn to the UK economy over the year, including employing over 40,000 staff here, plus 2,000 in Ireland.
Alongside trebling its wind generation by 2026, the company also actively targets growth in areas such as international wind, pumped storage hydro, carbon capture and storage (CCS), hydrogen, and batteries.
Manzoni pointed to an “increasingly favourable policy environment” for renewables in the UK and abroad. Highlights are the Johnson government’s Ten Point Plan, its recent Energy White Paper and refreshed binding emissions targets in the UK, Ireland and further afield.
By 13:00 today, SSE’s share price on the FTSE-100 was little changed, down 0.4% at £15.42