Energy major SSE, with over 5 million domestic accounts, today posted preliminary accounts reflecting how big retailers got bigger during the year’s cull of 29 competitors.
Preliminary headline figures for the year to April saw the operator cut its debt 3%, to £ 8.6 billion. Reported operating profit leapt over two-fifths to £3.8 billion; adjusted on a continuing operations basis, this is re-stated to £1.5 billion, itself a rise of 15%.
Earnings per share rose 22% on a steady-state basis to 95.4 pence per share.
Capital investments advanced to £2.1 billion, 40% of it in wind generation. The sum puts the firm on track to the £12.5 billion it plans for 2025. 2.4 GW of new capacity was under construction at year end.
“Net investment into vital UK and Ireland infrastructure could exceed £25bn this decade”, the company told investors this morning.
SSE says its Regulated Asset Value – the benchmark by which Ofgem assesses its contribution to modernising Britain’s grid – is on track to hit £6.5 billion in four years’ time, rising to £12 billion by 2031.
Chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies, pictured, hailed the company’s Net Zero Acceleration programme as ‘a floor, not a ceiling to our ambitions’. The SSE boss thus implicitly challenged calls from Conservative backbenchers calling for a halt to green levies.
Headline figures were boosted by proceeds from the £1.3 billion sale of Scotia Gas Networks.
Imminent developments include the completion of SSE’s purchase of Siemens-Gamesa’s 39 MW wind farms in Spain, France, Italy and Greece. Law firm Freshfields is advising.
It follows on the heels of SSE’s intention to float 25% of its transmission business for sale. The group has scheduled this summer to initiate the disposal.
By late morning, the supplier’s share price had reversed this week’s losses, spurred by fears of a rumoured extension by chancellor Sunak of a windfall tax to power generators. SSE’s share price rose 6% by late morning, capitalising the firm at £18.9 billion.
Further details here.