SSE plc Announces Fall In Total Retail Accounts


The shares of SSE  (LSE: SSE) (NASDAQOTH: SSEZY.US) closed yesterday at 1,317p. Today, the FTSE 100 member confirmed that during the period between April-December the number of electricity and gas accounts throughout Britain and Ireland fell from nearly 9.5 million to 9.2 million.

SSE added that work is progressing on a new gas power station in Ireland, which remains on course to be commissioned in the second half of 2014. This follows last year’s pledge to commission new assets and capital expenditure is forecast to be £1.5 billion.

Today’s announcement also revealed that, following the government’s proposed consultation into reducing the cost of electricity and gas, SSE are going to cut energy prices starting in March.

“Despite what is clearly a difficult business environment, the overall performance of the company has been solid in 2013/14 and the efforts of employees, shown recently in the response to the Christmas week storms, have been excellent.  It is encouraging that SSE is on course to deliver real growth in the dividend and increases in adjusted earnings per share1 and adjusted profit before tax1.

 “The operating environment is not expected to be any easier in 2014/15 but we have a well-balanced range of businesses and a good range of assets and we are determined to maintain our operational focus and financial discipline for the benefit of customers and investors.”

SSE has a market capitalisation at 12.7bn and trade at 10 times expected earnings. An expected increase in the full-year dividend will take the payment up to around 88p, yielding 6.5%.

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> Mark does not own shares in SSE.