SSE sticks to outlook despite customer numbers dip

Perth-based energy giant SSE plc on Thursday reported a 1.2% dip in GB domestic customer accounts and stuck to its full-year targets despite seeing a dip in the volume of renewable energy delivered in its first quarter compared to previous expectations. 

In a trading statement ahead of Thursday’s AGM, SSE said total energy customer accounts (GB domestic) fell to 5.71 million as of June 30 from 5.78 million at the end of March. 

SSE chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies said: “The early months of our financial year have brought some short-term challenges and some encouraging longer-term developments, but the key months of our financial year lie ahead. 

“I am confident we will make good progress in delivering against our strategic priorities, including the five- year dividend plan out to 2023.

“The fact the UK has become the first major economy to legislate for net zero emissions by 2050 is a key development in the fight against climate change  and reinforces SSE’s strategic focus on regulated electricity networks and renewable energy, and our commitment to creating value through the low carbon transition.”

In its financial outlook for 2019-20, SSE added: “The key months in SSE’s financial year are still to come, but the overall outlook provided in May 2019 in relation to adjusted operating profit across a number of SSE’s business units in 2019/20 remains unchanged. 

“This is despite lower than expected output of renewable energy in the three months to 30 June, with the shortfall in output equivalent to less than 4% of the annual forecast total. 

“As stated in May, the outlook for adjusted operating profit includes suspended capacity market payments totalling £148m.

“Group adjusted net finance costs and group capital and investment expenditure in 2019/20 continue to be in line with that set out in May.”