TOP NEWS: SSE cuts annual dividend as planned in bid for growth cash

(Alliance News) - SSE PLC on Wednesday reported a big swing to profit in its recent financial ...

Alliance News 22 May, 2024 | 10:15AM
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(Alliance News) - SSE PLC on Wednesday reported a big swing to profit in its recent financial year, but it stuck to its plan to cut its annual dividend by more than a third, saying this was in line with its "growth aligned dividend plan".

SSE is a Perth, Scotland-based electricity transmission and distribution utility.

While SSE swung to a pretax profit of GBP2.50 billion in the financial year that ended March 31 from a GBP205.6 million loss in financial 2023, adjusted pretax profit was down slightly to GBP2.17 billion from GBP2.18 billion. However, SSE noted that this was towards the top end of its prior guidance.

The reported pretax loss in financial 2023 was due to a GBP2.63 billion loss in SSE Energy Markets related to loss on remeasurement of forward commodity derivatives.

Adjusted earnings per share in the recent year were 158.5 pence, down 4.5% from 166.0p in financial 2023.

SSE declared a final dividend of 40.0p for a full-year payout of 60.0p, down 40% from 96.7p the year before, in line with the plan the company had set out back in November. SSE repeated its commitment for annual dividend increases from the lowered base of between 5% and 10% until financial 2027.

Revenue in the recent year was GBP10.46 billion, down 16% from GBP12.49 billion the year before. However cost of sales fell even more dramatically, halving to GBP6.11 billion from GBP12.65 billion.

Looking ahead to financial 2025, SSE said final commissioning is underway both for its Viking offshore wind farm off the Shetland Islands and for the Shetland high-voltage direct current link. Energisation of the Shetland HVDC link is expected in the summer, it said.

SSE expects operating profit to be lower in financial 2025 at SSEN Transmission, as "the taxation benefit from 'full expensing' for qualifying capital expenditure is passed through to consumers through reduced tariffs".

For SSEN Distribution, operating profit is expected to "more than double", due to an expected inflationary catch-up in tariffs.

In the recent year, operating profit at SSEN Transmission was GBP559.1 million, up from GBP405.5 million in financial 2023. At SSEN Distribution, it was GBP272.1 million, down from GBP382.4 million.

SSE shares were up 0.1% at 1,800.00 pence on Wednesday morning in London.

By Tom Waite, Alliance News editor

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
SSE PLC 1,767.00 GBX -0.67

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