SSE reveals new chairman as it posts profit dip

Caitlin Morrison
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ENERGY firm SSE saw its shares fall by 2.78 per cent yesterday after reporting that profit before tax had dropped by 6.2 per cent in the six months to 30 September 2014, to £316.6m.

The group stated that due to a combination of a “challenging business environment and persistently low production and consumption of energy”, its adjusted earnings per share for 2014-15 would be about the same as it was in 2013, at 29.4p.

Lord Smith of Kelvin, chairman of SSE, said: “Electricity market reform, the electricity distribution price control review and the energy market investigation are all taking place at the same time as the run up to the UK general election. SSE is taking a constructive approach to each of these issues, with the objective of meeting the needs of customers while safeguarding the interests of investors.”

SSE also announced yesterday that it had completed the sale of its street lighting projects to Equitix Infra­structure 3. The firm had 100 per cent equity interest in the projects, and said that the sale, worth £97.5m, would have the immediate effect of reducing SSE’s net debt by £326.4m.

The energy firm also appointed Richard Gillingwater as deputy chairman, with effect from 1 January.

Gillingwater will then be appointed as Smith’s successor, subject to re-election to the board, when the incumb­ent chairman steps down in January 2016.