ScottishPower numbers hit high but profits slide

ScottishPower today revealed it had added 400,000 customers in the first half the year, taking the total to a new record.

The company said it now has 5.7 million customers and Keith Anderson, chief corporate officer, said it was a reward for investing in the business and improving customer service.

Anderson said the firm needs a stable regulatory regime and is in a position to “help the economy get back on its feet”.

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Its Spanish parent reported a dip in first-half profits as growth in its renewables business was offset by higher taxes in Spain and costs related to energy-efficiency programmes in the UK.

Iberdrola said net profits for the six months to 30 June fell by 2 per cent to €1.7 billion (£1.5bn), as taxes and levies surged to €863 million, up 79 per cent year-on-year. It is seeking to sell off about €800m of assets as part of a strategy to secure its credit ratings and reduce debt.

Iberdrola, led by chairman and chief executive Ignacio Galan, said profits before tax and interest at ScottishPower’s generation and supply business fell by 17.7 per cent to €74.9m because of higher energy-efficiency levies imposed by Ofgem.

Production at the business rose by 4.9 per cent despite the closure of the Cockenzie coal-fired plant in March.

ScottishPower said electricity demand in the UK had risen by 0.2 per cent, while the prolonged cold weather at the start of the year saw gas demand grow by 5.9 per cent.

As of 30 June, the Glasgow-based firm had 3.4 million electricity customers and 2.2 million gas customers, up 7.7 per cent.

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