Belfast Telegraph

Energy giant SSE reports drop in profits to £593m as competition hots up

By Staff Reporter

UK energy giant SSE has reported a 19.3% drop in full-year pre-tax profits to £593.3m after lower energy prices and increased competition took their toll on the firm.

The company, which provides both gas and electricity in Northern Ireland, was hit hardest at its wholesale business, which saw adjusted operating profit drop 6.6% to £442.5m. Profits in gas production fell 94% to £2.2m.

Chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies said: "The operating environment presented a number of complex issues, including the impact of prevailing commodity prices and intense retail market competition. At the same time, SSE has continued to demonstrate financial discipline and commitment to its long-term strategic framework."

In Northern Ireland, SSE is currently constructing a 35MW wind farm in Co Tyrone. Meanwhile, it's also starting to work on the 19MW Slieve Divena II wind farm, which is also located in Co Tyrone.

Both projects are expected to be up and running in 2017.

SSE also has plans for a £150m wind farm development at Doraville in the Sperrins. It has submitted a planning application for the development, which is currently under consideration.

Across the entire business, SSE said retail operating profit was broadly flat at £455.2m.

On an adjusted basis, pre-tax profit was down 3.3% to £1.5bn across the company.

Mr Phillips-Davies said: "The fact that some of the mist is beginning to clear around the legislative, political and regulatory environment means there are grounds for some cautious optimism for the next couple of years."

Belfast Telegraph