Renewables giant SSE today revealed a £170 million hit from Covid-19 but said the past year had still seen significant progress on its net zero strategy.
The group is focused on the electricity infrastructure and businesses needed for the UK’s decarbonisation effort, including through £7.5 billion of capital expenditure up to 2025.
Its flagship projects include the world’s largest offshore wind farm at Dogger Bank, Scotland’s largest and deepest offshore wind farm at Seagreen and one of Europe’s largest onshore wind farms at Viking, all of which it said are progressing well.
Today’s annual results reveal a 4% rise in adjusted profits to just over £1 billion, despite the impact of Covid-19 on demand across its distribution, business energy and enterprise arms.
The impact for the year to March 31 is estimated at £170 million, but this is slightly better than the guidance given a couple of months ago following a stronger-than-expected recovery in demand for its distribution division.
Despite this, the company says it is still too early to give guidance on its expectations for the 2011/22 financial year.
It reassured shareholders, however, that its five-year dividend plan up to March 2023 is on track after today announcing a payment of 56.6p a share on 23 September. This latest award is based on the average annual rate of inflation.
SSE, which is a partner of the COP26 conference taking place in Glasgow in November, said it supported efforts to drive more urgent and ambitious climate action.
Chairman John Manzoni said: “We are reducing emissions, investing in a green recovery, creating over a thousand new jobs, making a major contribution to GDP and, financially, continuing to remunerate shareholders.”