SSE gives early dividend indication despite lower renewables output in first quarter

The renewable energy group said it was continuing work on its disposal programme


SSE PLC (LON:SSE) said the impact of coronavirus pandemic is expected to be £150-250mln on its business this year, but this does not affect its dividend plans. 

The renewable energy company said its five-year dividend plan to 2022/23 remains unchanged, including a planned payout of 80p plus RPI for the current year, incorporating an estimated 24.4p interim dividend to be declared in November. 

READ: SSE trims dividend, announces new decarbonisation investment plan

Since its new financial year began on April 1, the FTSE 100 energy company has issued US$1.1bn of hybrid bonds at a lower rate and said it is “progressing the processes” to secure project finance and sell an equity stake in the massive Dogger Bank offshore wind project off the North East coast of England, where the first phase is expected in 2023. 

SSE’s current wind farms and hydro delivered a lower output in the three months to end-June, with total renewable energy output of 1,988 gigawatt hours, 16% lower than planned but up 6% on this point last year. 

Chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies said: “Whilst the wider economic implication of the coronavirus continues to impact on the business, we've been investing in the green economic recovery and progressing our £7.5bn capex plan of low-carbon investments, primarily in renewables and electricity networks.”

He added that the group was continuing work on its disposal programme.

Earlier this month, energy regulator Ofgem proposed halving the returns allowed for the power companies, in order to fund a £25bn upgrade of the UK’s infrastructure and result in a £20 reduction in household bills every year. 

The regulator said £630mln of the savings from the RIIO-T2 price controls will be earmarked for green energy projects, but SSE said the draft plan “risks failing to deliver on net zero”.

Quick facts: SSE PLC

Price: 1319.5 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £13.72 billion

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