SSE plc, the Perth-based electricity infrastructure giant, has reported that its renewables performance remains below expectations, with output around 19% behind plan for the six months to September 30, mainly due to adverse weather conditions.
In a trading update, SSE said: “SSE expects to report interim adjusted earnings per share of at least 30 pence, largely reflecting the normal seasonal nature of operations that deliver the majority of annual earnings in the second half of SSE’s financial year.
“This guidance takes into account renewables performance which remains below expectations, with output around 19% behind plan for the six months to 30 September, mainly due to adverse weather conditions.
“This represents around a 7% shortfall relative to the full year’s planned output.
“It also reflects a more stable market environment which is expected to drive a seasonal half-year loss for gas storage, before reverting back to a profit for the full year when gas is withdrawn.
“Finally, flexible thermal assets have continued to demonstrate their value to the energy system during the period.
“Following the successful issuance of a €750m eight-year Green Bond in September 2023 at a fixed coupon of 4.0%, adjusted net debt is expected to be around £9bn at 30 September 2023, with over 90% of financing still held at fixed rates.”
Ahead of the publication on November 15 of its results for the six months to September 30, SSE updated the market on its performance and outlook, saying it is expecting to report half-year adjusted earnings per share of at least 30p and reported an expected full-year adjusted earnings per share of more than 150p.
SSE finance director Gregor Alexander said: “Our primary focus remains on delivery of our five-year plan out to 2027, which is the platform for up to £40bn of investment in net zero over the next decade.
“We have reached key milestones in the construction of our flagship renewables projects while gearing up to accelerate the build-out of critical network infrastructure and offering much-needed flexibility to the system.
“Our strong balance sheet and financial discipline continue to allow us to progress growth options within our diversified pipeline selectively.
“In the long-term, there remains broad support for the accelerated build-out of secure, affordable, low-carbon electricity infrastructure – both in the UK and internationally – enabling the continued creation of shareholder and societal value.”