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    Scottish energy giant signals lower-than-expected annual renewables output


    September 28, 2022 - Brian Donnelly

     

      By Brian Donnelly

      SCOTTISH energy supplier SSE saw its shares slide more than seven per cent as it posted lower-than-expected renewables output.

      The London-listed company blamed the 13% reduction on its renewables plan for the year to September 22 on weather conditions.

      The firm underlined its intention for any additional profit to be reinvested in projects that will provide long-term solutions to help reduce the UK’s exposure to volatile international gas prices.

      It said it expects to report half-year adjusted earnings per share of at least 40 pence, saying the mix of its businesses is enabling it to navigate changing market conditions.

      It noted developments under its net zero acceleration programme including the first power from Seagreen, Scotland’s largest and the world’s deepest tethered offshore wind farm, in August, while construction on what will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm at Dogger Bank, and Viking onshore wind farm on Shetland are progressing to plan.

      It also noted the completion of the acquisition of the 3.8GW Southern European onshore wind development platform, with scope for up to 1.4GW of additional solar opportunities, and completion of the joint acquisition of Triton Power with Equinor, including the 1.2GW Saltend power station which has “significant decarbonisation potential”.

      Perth-based SSE said adjusted net debt is expected to be around £10 billion at September 30, with a high proportion held at fixed rates, and it continues to have access to capital markets with a €1bn Hybrid Bond in April and a €650 million Green Bond in July.

      SSE also said it had £1.5bn of revolving credit facilities which remained undrawn.

      It said the company remains on course to report record 2022/23 capex in excess of £2.5bn, which would include acquisitions, and it expects leverage to be lower than the target 4.5 times net debt to Ebitda ratio.

      Gregor Alexander, SSE finance director, said: “Our balanced business mix has ensured a strong performance to date, however in such highly volatile market conditions, financial performance for the full year will be significantly influenced by plant availability, weather and commodity price movements.”

      Shares in SSE closed down 7.3%, or 122p, at 1,549p.

      CREDIT: Brian Donnelly

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