SSE £7bn investment on track as profit tops £1bn

Perth-based energy and networks giant SSE plc said on Wednesday its £7.5 billion capital investment plan in low-carbon projects up to 2025 is on track, with “considerable potential for future growth above and beyond.”

SSE said construction is well under way at flagship SSE Renewables projects including the world’s largest offshore wind farm at Dogger Bank, Scotland’s largest and deepest offshore wind farm at Seagreen off the Angus coast, and at one of Europe’s largest onshore wind farms at Viking in Shetland.

The news came as SSE, Scotland’s second-biggest company by stock market value, published results for the year to March 31, 2021, showing adjusted profit before tax rose 4% to £1.064 billion.

Reported profit before tax including exceptional items was up 328% to £2.5 billion.

SSE said completed transactions in its non-core asset disposal programme to date will yield over £1.5 billion of cash proceeds, and said it is set to exceed its £2 billion target on completion of the prospective sale of Scotia Gas Networks (SGN) as part of its plan to focus on renewable generation.

Capital expenditure and investment is expected to total around £2 billion in 2021-22. SSE said it contributed over £5.2 billion to UK GDP, supporting over 41,000 UK jobs.

SSE said it intends to recommend a final dividend of 56.6p per share, making a full-year dividend of 81.0p per share.

SSE chair John Manzoni said: “Thanks to the commitment of employees right across the business in 2020/21 we made an important contribution to the national pandemic response, delivering strong operational performance, and making significant strategic progress.

“We have also made significant progress on our non-core disposals programme, creating value for shareholders while continuing to sharpen the group’s strategic focus on its low-carbon electricity core in networks and renewables, where our capital investment programme is progressing well.

“Looking ahead, a strong balance sheet, underpinned by world-class assets, gives us a firm footing from which to capitalise on the considerable future growth opportunities we are creating in the transition to net zero.

“Our ESG credentials continue to grow and, as a Principal Partner of COP26, we are focused on creating value for shareholders and society.

“We are reducing emissions, investing in a green recovery, creating over a thousand new jobs, making a major contribution to GDP and, financially, continuing to remunerate shareholders through delivery of our dividend plan to 2023.”