Wednesday 30 September 2020 9:58 am

SSE remains on track for £250m coronavirus hit

Energy giant SSE today confirmed that it was on course for a £120m to £130m hit for the first six months of the year due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Back in July, when it unveiled its full year results, the firm warned that the pandemic, which has caused power demand to drop, would cost in £250m in total.

As a result, SSE said that it expected to report adjusted earnings per share in the range 10p to 12.5p for the first half of the year.

It also remains committed to recommending a full-year dividend of 80p plus inflation, with an interim dividend of 24.4p expected to be paid in March 2021.

The firm’s first half results will be published on 18 November.

SSE said that energy output from its renewable sources for the financial year to date stood at was 362GWh, nine per cent below plan.  This represents a 3 per cent shortfall on annual output.

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Finance director Gregor Alexander said: “In the face of the coronavirus, which will impact financial results for the half-year, we are continuing to perform well operationally due to the hard work of our teams. 

“At the same time, the underlying strength of our business model and our strategic focus on the transition to a net-zero economy stand us in good stead for the future.”

Over the last six months SSE said that it had continued with its £7.5bn investment plan, including reaching financial agreements for two new wind farms.

In June, French oil giant Total paid £70m a 51 per cent stake in SSE’s 1 gigawatt Seagreen wind farm, which has now been given the green light for construction.

SSE also sold its 25.1 per cent non-operational stake in Walney wind farm off Cumbria to Greencoat for £350m.