SSE suffers as demand drops despite cold

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) yesterday revealed it has signed up 200,000 customer accounts in the nine months to 31 December, taking the total to 9.25m across the UK.

However SSE, the second largest electricity generator in the UK and Ireland, also reported reductions in household consumption of gas and electricity in the four months to 31 January.

Gas consumption was five per cent lower per customer compared with the same period last year, and electricity consumption dropped four per cent per customer.

Chief executive Ian Marchant said the company performed well in the second half of the financial year, adding: “We remain on course to deliver a moderate increase in adjusted profit before tax.”

The company said it expects to give shareholders a minimum dividend of 70p per share over the course of the financial year, a six per cent increase on last year’s figure of 66p per share.