Glasgow-based SMS doubles portfolio in record year

Smart Metering Systems CEO Alan Foy says building long-term partnerships is key to the company's success. Picture: Contributed
Smart Metering Systems CEO Alan Foy says building long-term partnerships is key to the company's success. Picture: Contributed
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Smart Metering Systems (SMS), the Glasgow-based utility company, last year saw revenues nudge the £100 million mark as it reaped the benefits of the UK government’s smart metering programme.

Although there have been concerns over the pace of the smart meter rollout, SMS doubled the number of the devices it owns in households and small businesses to 846,000 during 2018.

However, the company saw pre-tax profits fell sharply, to £5.4m from £18m the previous year, although this was mainly due to exceptional costs related to a writedown in the value of the company’s traditional meter assets in the face of greater take-up of smart devices.

Underlying pre-tax profits rose by 13 per cent to £25.1m as revenues grew by 24 per cent to £98.5m from £79.6m, with annualised recurring revenue rising by 32 per cent to £75.3m.

Chief executive Alan Foy said 2018 had been a year of continued investment and growth. “I am especially pleased with the way in which we have brought our end to end solutions to the UK’s energy suppliers shown by the significant contract wins announced in the last six months,” he said.

“Building long-term partnerships with our customers is key to our success. We enter 2019 with a strong order book and are well positioned to continue making progress in our core markets.”

The company highlighted a number of contract wins with energy suppliers including First Utility (now Shell Energy) and Good Energy, and framework agreements with Co-op Energy, Bristol Energy and Octopus Energy.

Under its latest deal, with Perth-based SSE Energy Supply, it will supply and install up to 200,000 “next generation” SMETS2 non-domestic meters to small business customers.

Foy said: “Whilst energy suppliers have seen a number of challenges, particularly independent or ‘challenger’ entrants, we are pleased to be partnering with robust businesses who, like SMS, are committed to the smart meter revolution.”

SMS’s total portfolio of gas and electricity metering and data assets increased by 54 per cent to 3.1 million during the year. Shareholders are in line for a 15 per cent rise in the full year dividend.

As well as metering, SMS also specialises in smart grid services for the renewable generation, battery storage, and electric vehicle charging markets.

Figures last month showed that smart meter installation across UK homes has slowed, dropping 16 per cent in the final three months of 2018 compared with the same period the year before. The UK government’s smart meter programme requires all UK households and small businesses to be offered a smart meter by the end of 2020.