Energy giant SSE posts profit rise
Energy giant SSE increased profits to more than £370 million in the first half of this year, despite an operating loss from the part of the business which sells power to consumers.
SSE's energy supply business reported an operating loss of £16.9 million, with company bosses saying this was a result of the competitive energy market and a sustained period of warm weather.
This however is lower than the loss in 2013 when rising costs had forced SSE to increase household energy prices - which it has pledged not to do for this financial year and into next.
Operating profits in its wholesale business fell by a massive 83.4% to £26.7 million, as a result of lower electricity output from renewable sources due to the milder weather, and lower profitability in gas production - which slumped by 80.7% to £13.3 million.
Overall preliminary results for the six months to the end of September showed that the adjusted profit before tax rose by 4.6% to £370.3 million.
The power firm also reported total capital expenditure and investment of £679.3 million in Britain and Ireland, saying this work would help ensure customers have a secure and affordable supply of energy in future years.
Major investment by SSE also saw the operating profit for electricity transmission rise by 46.3% to £98.9 million.
SSE's capital investment and expenditure for 2014/15 is now forecast to total just under £1.6 billion gross over the year.
Chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies said: "In tough market conditions we have been able to deliver solid business results at the same time as being a responsible company that does the right thing by its employees and its customers."
The company also announced that Lord Smith of Kelvin is to step down from its board on January 1 next year after 13 years of service.