Energy price freeze fails to halt 110k from quitting SSE

Suzie Neuwirth
ENERGY giant SSE yesterday revealed that it lost 110,000 customers in the last quarter, despite freezing its prices.

The FTSE 100-quoted firm, which in March pledged to freeze its tariffs until 2016, blamed the drop to 8.99m customers on “very competitive market conditions”.

It also said that average electricity consumption had fallen by around seven per cent year-on-year and gas demand declined by 29 per cent.

But the company said it remained on course to increase its full-year dividend and maintained its full-year guidance of slightly higher adjusted earnings per share year-on-year.

“The loss of 110,000 retail customers will be a concern if it continues through the summer period,” warned Liberum analysts. “SSE’s long term price freeze offering is being tested by the weakness in wholesale prices, leaving them vulnerable to competitor action.” Shares closed 1.3 per cent lower at 1,525p.

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