Scotland business

Power firm SSE's pre-tax profits up 48%

Man with umbrella in windy weather Image copyright PA
Image caption Wet and windy weather in Scotland and Ireland boosted renewable output, SSE said

SSE made an adjusted pre-tax profit of just under £549m in the six months to the end of September - up 48% on the same period last year.

The rise was helped by wet and windy weather in Scotland and Ireland, which boosted renewable output.

However, the company's chief executive, Alistair Phillips-Davies, warned market conditions continued to be challenging.

He said he expected profits in domestic energy supply to be lower at the end of the year.

SSE's preliminary results for the first six months of 2015 also revealed that;

  • it expects to have earned over one third of its full-year profit in the first six months, compared with about one quarter in the same period last year
  • investment and capital expenditure was up 11.5% to £757.3m.
  • retail operating profit was up to £101.5m with Energy Supply registering a profit compared with the loss for the same period last year.
  • and wholesale operating profits returned to what it said was a more typical level of £159.6m.

The firm said its transmission business was the fastest growing in Europe with "record investment", including completion of the Beauly to Denny transmission line and the starting of the Caithness to Moray subsea transmission link.

Mr Phillips-Davies said: "We've had a solid start to the financial year but half-year profits are only half the story. There are many variables in energy and so they should be treated with caution - that's why we focus on full-year results.

"The last six months have seen us invest substantially in the UK's energy infrastructure - committing one and a half times what we've made in profit in the first half of the year.

"We've upgraded our fleet of gas fired power stations, opened our new multi-fuel power plant and completed the Beauly to Denny transmission link and started work on the vital subsea link between Caithness and Moray.

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