SSE eyes modest growth in ‘challenging’ market

Power supplier SSE today said it continued to target a slight increase in earnings per share this year in the face of a “challenging” business environment.

The Perth-based group, which holds its annual meeting today, also said it remains on course to meet its key objective of growing its full-year dividend by at least the same level as retail price inflation.

Following last month’s decision by energy regulator Ofgem to refer the sector to the Competition & Markets Authority for a full-scale investigation, SSE and its rivals that also have generation and supply arms could find themselves forced to break up their businesses.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

SSE said it believes the probe, the results of which are expected by June 2015, will be an “important opportunity to demonstrate the competitiveness of the energy market in Great Britain”.

Speaking ahead of today’s annual meeting, chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies said: “Our customers are benefiting from the longest-ever household energy price freeze in the Great Britain market and good progress is being made in our programme of investment to build, upgrade and maintain the electricity assets customers rely on.

“Although energy market conditions are challenging, we are on course to give shareholders a return on their investment through a dividend increase that at least keeps pace with inflation.”

Phillips-Davies said the firm continues to expect that its adjusted earnings per share for the current will be “around or slightly greater than” last year’s figure of 123.4p.