SSE says financial targets on track despite losing customers

SSE lost customers to rival suppliers in the last few months of 2016 and struggled to keep up its renewable energy supply. However, the Big Six energy company said it […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

SSE lost customers to rival suppliers in the last few months of 2016 and struggled to keep up its renewable energy supply.

However, the Big Six energy company said it remains on track to return to growth and deliver earnings per share of 120p for the full year.

It lost 50,000 customers in the nine months to December 31st, leaving it with a total of 8.08 million energy accounts.

The energy firm saw gas and oil-fired generation nearly double to 12.8TWh compared to 6.6TWh in 2015.

However renewable energy production was down 20%, falling from 6.8TWh to 5.1TWh last year due to “dry and still weather”.

SSE expects to invest around £1.75 billion in 2016/17, down from its original target but is still said to be the highest annual investment and capital expenditure by the company to date.

Last November the energy company announced its adjusted profits before tax fell 13.3% for the six months to the end of September

Alistair Phillips-Davies, Chief Executive of SSE, said: “The period since our interim results has featured volatile wholesale energy market conditions and during November and December in particular, a period of relatively dry and still weather leading to low output of renewable energy. This did, however, allow good progress with our large construction projects. Political and regulatory scrutiny of the sector has also continued.

“Despite these issues and several persistent uncertainties in aspects of the operating environment, SSE is well placed. Our fundamental strengths and opportunities for growth mean SSE is on target to meet its first financial objective of an increase in the full-year dividend, at least in line with RPI [Retail Price Index] inflation.”

The supplier said it would cap domestic energy prices until at least April 2017. The average standard variable dual fuel bill paid by householders currently stands at £1,068 a year.