Flat profits

Energy firm SSE makes ‘major progress’ on projects

SSE: on track with major projects (pic: Terry Murden)

Energy firm SSE reported flat profits in the first half of the year but said it was making “major progress” on a number of flagship projects.

The FTSE 100-listed company said in the six months to 30 September, pre-tax profit rose 1% to £565.2 million from £559.4m.

A strong performance in the renewables and thermal units offset a fall in the distribution business.

SSE declared a dividend of 20p, down from 29p, a year ago, and expects to make a full-year payout of 60p.

The company said it had made major progress on flagship projects including first power at Dogger Bank and full power at Seagreen offshore wind farms, and planning and supply chain secured for Eastern Green Link 2 subsea transmission cable.

Alistair Phillips-Davies, Chief Executive, said: “Our performance in the first half of 2023/24 demonstrates SSE’s well-balanced business mix and our ability to adapt and create value while maintaining capital discipline in a fast-evolving energy landscape.

“With an enduring broad political consensus behind the need to build the electricity infrastructure required for net zero, a supportive power price outlook, balance sheet strength underpinned by world-class assets and unrivalled optionality across the clean energy value chain, we have increased confidence in our earnings forecasts not only for this year, but out to 2026/27.

John Moore, senior investment manager at RBC Brewin Dolphin, said: “SSE has delivered yet another robust set of results. Its earnings per share are ahead of expectations and the renewables group has reaffirmed its guidance for the rest of the year.

“SSE is in a sweet spot in terms of the UK’s transition to net zero, with plenty of investment opportunities in front of it – but the company has been discerning about where to allocate capital when it needs to be.

“With an attractive rebased dividend – set to increase by between 5% and 10% annually – good prospects ahead, and debt under control, SSE is in a very good position, with the kicker from investments made starting to come through in 2025’s numbers.”

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