SSE renewables behind plan but earnings target OK

Perth-based energy giant SSE plc said in a trading statement on Friday its renewable energy output for the first nine months of its fiscal year was behind schedule, but maintained its earnings target for the year.

SSE said it continued to expect adjusted earnings per share (EPS) to be in the range of 83p to 88p for the fiscal year of 2020.

Analysts expect adjusted EPS of 84.6p.

“SSE remains committed to its dividend plan for the five years to March 2023 and, in line with that, expects to recommend a FY2019/20 dividend of 80p per share,” said the company.

“Adjusted EPS expectations are always subject to hydro and wind assets benefiting from normal weather conditions.

“As at 31 December 2019, output of renewable energy for the first nine months of the financial year was just over 5% behind plan.”

SSE finance director Gregor Alexander said: “Since reporting our interim results we have continued to deliver on our priorities, focusing the SSE group on businesses that are well placed to play a leading role in delivery of a low-carbon strategy that supports the transition to net zero emissions.

“The first financial objective of that strategy is to remunerate shareholders’ investment through dividends based on the quality and nature of assets and operations, earnings derived from them and the long-term financial outlook.  

“The first nine months of the financial year have been generally positive for SSE, and we are on course to deliver our FY2019/20 financial forecasts.”