Power surge

SSE posts 44% hike in profits as tax threat looms

Profits rising sharply at SSE

Energy giant SSE, whose shares slumped yesterday on talk of a windfall tax on electricity generators, has reported a 44% surge in profits.

SSE shares opened 4% higher, having fallen 8% yesterday following the tax speculation.

Reported pretax profit came in at £3.48 billion in the year ended 31 March, from £2.42bn a year earlier.

Adjusted pre-tax profit rose 23% to £1.16bn from £949m. Reported operating profits rose 41% to £3.75bn, up from £2.65bn.

The Perth-based group proposes a final dividend of 60.2p a share, bringing the full-year payment to 85.7p, up from 81.0p in the previous 12 months. The dividend is linked to inflation but will be cut in the 2024 financial year.

The industry argues that big profits enables companies to invest in clean technologies. SSE’s believes its net investment into UK and Ireland infrastructure could exceed £25bn this decade.

Alistair Phillips-Davies, SSE chief executive, said: “This was a year in which our resilient business mix and balanced portfolio of assets helped us navigate volatile markets and meet our financial objectives whilst making record investments in the critical UK infrastructure needed to tackle climate change and deliver more secure, independent energy supplies.”

“We are delivering major projects, building pipelines, and have made inroads in Southern Europe and Japan as we export our renewables capabilities internationally to fulfil SSE’s considerable potential.”

Despite the industry’s arguments, Downing Street looks likely to introduce a windfall tax, with concessions to firms which invest in UK infrastructure.

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