SSE upgrades profit estimates amid thermal boost

Perth-based renewable energy and power networks giant SSE — the biggest listed company run from Scotland — on Tuesday upgraded its expectations for full-year 2021-22 adjusted earnings per share “to at least 90 pence from at least 83 pence.”

In a third-quarter 2021-22 trading statement, SSE said: “This reflects the strength and stability provided by SSE’s balanced mix of regulated and market facing businesses, including good financial performance from flexible thermal and hydro plant which is more than offsetting lower than planned renewables output,” said SSE.

“SSE intends to recommend a full-year dividend of 81p per share plus RPI for 2021/22 and continues to target an RPI linked dividend in 2022/23, followed by a rebase to 60p in 2023/24 and at least 5% increases in 2024/25 and 2025/26.

“SSE remains on track to report full year 2021/22 capex in excess of £2bn.

“Net debt is expected to be around £9bn at 31 March 2022, assuming the proceeds from the disposal of SSE’s 33.3% stake in SGN are received prior to the year-end.”

SSE finance director Gregor Alexander said:  “SSE’s performance in the year so far gives us renewed confidence about delivery of good financial results for the full year.

“When coupled with the progress made on our capex plans in recent months, it also highlights the value we are creating for all stakeholders from continued execution of our net zero-aligned strategy.

“The significant bolstering of SSE Renewables’ pipeline, the increased visibility we have over opportunities for greater growth in SSEN Transmission and the balance provided by SSE Thermal through a turbulent trading period have demonstrated yet again the value of SSE’s integrated business mix and its capacity for delivering sustainable shareholder returns over the long term.

“Today’s trading statement demonstrates SSE’s Net Zero Acceleration Programme in action and the milestones reached since reporting our interim results move us closer to delivering the refreshed 2030 goals that will accelerate growth, drive shareholder returns and play a critical role in keeping global warming to a 1.5C pathway.”