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SSE ticks higher as it reiterates outlook and dividend plan despite challenges in first months of 2019

Alistair Phillips-Davies, SSE’s CEO, said that despite “some short-term challenges”, the key months for the FTSE 100 energy firm still lay ahead

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The group plans to pay a full-year dividend of 80p

SSE PLC (LON:SSE) ticked up on Thursday after it reiterated its dividend plans and outlook despite what it said were “short-term challenges” in the early months of its current year.

In a trading statement ahead of its AGM on Thursday, the FTSE 100 energy firm said its full-year expectations remained unchanged despite “lower than forecast” renewable energy output in the first three months, while it also reiterated its intention to pay a full-year dividend of 80p per share.

READ: SSE plans to close its last coal-fired power station

Alistair Phillips-Davies, SSE’s chief executive, said that while the early months had brought “some short-term challenges” the key months of the year still lay ahead and that there had been some “encouraging longer-term developments”.

The CEO added that the recent move by the UK to legislate for net zero emissions by 2050 reinforced SSE’s “strategic focus” on regulated electricity networks and renewable energy.

“I am confident we will make good progress in delivering against our strategic priorities, including the five- year dividend plan out to 2023”, he said.

The reassuring outlook sent the shares up 2% to 1,176p in mid-morning trading.

“No nasty shocks” but problems persist, says analyst

Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index, said that while the update hadn’t brought any more “nasty shocks” for SSE’s shareholders, the myriad problems at the firm persisted, which may explain why the market wasn’t exactly “diving in” to the shares.

“The retail energy business is continuing to haemorrhage customers, with another 70,000 departing in the three months between April and June”, Cincotta said, adding that the company’s transmission business still faced the threat of nationalisation if Brexit wrangling triggered an election that brought the Labour party to power.

--Adds analyst comment and updates share price--

Quick facts: SSE PLC

Price: £11.84

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £121.02 m
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