SSE expects 2016-17 capital spend of £1.75bn

Perth-based energy giant SSE said in a trading statement it expected its capital investment programme for 2016-17 to be around £1.75 billion.

SSE confirmed that for 2016-17 it remained on target “to achieve a return to growth and deliver adjusted earnings per share of at least 120p.”

It said it still expected to report an annual increase in its full-year dividend “that at least keeps pace with RPI inflation, with annual increases that at least keep pace with RPI inflation also being targeted for the subsequent years.”

SSE CEO Alistair Phillips-Davies said: “SSE is a business designed for the long-term.

“In a changing and challenging energy sector we continue to focus on operational efficiency, disciplined investment and maintaining a balanced range of energy businesses.

“Throughout this financial year, we have sought to continue to deliver the best possible service for our networks and retail customers.

“As we acknowledged in our interim results in November, the operating environment presents some challenges.

“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 inflation.”