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SSE to push ahead with £7.5bn green investment plan despite Covid-19 impact

The UK energy supplier said it expects the pandemic to cost the company between £150 million and £250 million in the current financial year.

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Energy giant SSE said it could take a £250 million hit as a result of coronavirus (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Energy giant SSE said it could take a £250 million hit as a result of coronavirus (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Energy giant SSE said it could take a £250 million hit as a result of coronavirus (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Energy giant SSE has said it will push ahead with plans to invest £7.5 billion in low carbon projects over the next five years, despite warning that its profits could take a £250 million hit from the coronavirus crisis.

The UK energy supplier said it expects the pandemic to cost the company between £150 million and £250 million in the current financial year.

It said the impact of the virus on its operating profit has been “in line with expectations” over the past three months.

Despite forecasting the significant impact on its finances, SSE said it is “progressing” with its £7.5 billion spending plan, which will see it invest in renewables and electricity networks.

Although the key months of our financial year are still ahead of us, the steps we are taking leave us well placed to deliver on our financial objectives of promoting the long-term success of the company and paying dividendsAlistair Phillips-Davies, SSE chief executive

SSE also said that it would continue to pay its dividend as planned until 2023.

Alistair Phillips-Davies, chief executive of SSE, said: “Throughout the first quarter of 2020-21, our key workers continued to support the national coronavirus response by supporting the safe and reliable supply of electricity.

“At the same time, we are delivering the comprehensive financial plan we set out last month at our full-year results, continuing work on our disposal programme and successfully issuing over £1 billion in hybrid bonds.

“Although the key months of our financial year are still ahead of us, the steps we are taking leave us well placed to deliver on our financial objectives of promoting the long-term success of the company and paying dividends.”

Shares in the company moved 1.9% higher at 1,388.9p in early trading on Thursday.

PA