Profits fall at energy company SSE
Scottish energy company SSE has said annual results have fallen well short of what it hoped, while it has faced tough competition and rising costs.
Pre-tax profits fell 38% to £725m.
SSE saw household electricity customer accounts drop to 3.46m from 3.82m - while gas accounts fell to 2.32m from 2.53m in 2017-18.
The company is still trying to confirm a buyer for its retail customer division, after a planned merger with rival energy firm NPower collapsed.
SSE shares dropped by 3% after the annual results were announced.
Chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies said the Perth-based company would continue to invest millions of pounds in green energy projects.
The company also confirmed it has set a deadline for its chairman Richard Gillingwater's departure, saying he will leave his position no later than 31 March 2021.
Mr Gillingwater said: "While our financial results clearly fell well short of what we hoped to achieve at the start of the year, we've made significant progress towards our ambition to be a leading energy company in a low-carbon world."
He said the company had:
- Continued to develop its core businesses of regulated energy networks and renewables
- Demonstrated its ability to create and unlock value from developing and operating, as well as owning, assets
- Adopted clear long-term goals to set up the business for long-term success.
Mr Gillingwater added: "The fundamental strengths of our business and the strategic opportunities afforded by the transition to a low-carbon economy will support the delivery of our five-year dividend plan and creation of value for society as a whole."