SSE, one of the UK’s ‘big six’ energy suppliers, has reported a two per cent rise in profits, boosted by growth in its power generation unit.
In its financial report published today, the company pledged not to increase household gas or electricity prices before October.
“Beyond that, energy prices for household customers will ultimately depend on what happens in wholesale electricity and gas markets, with public policy and regulatory decisions on energy production, distribution and consumption also having a significant impact,” the report stated.
The announcement follows a move by another of the "big six" energy firms, E.ON that it will not raise its energy prices for the whole of 2012. Last week, British Gas, who supply energy to 16 million residential customers, warned that customers could expect to see a 15 per cent rise later this year.
Adjusted profit for the year to March 2012 totalled £1.3 billion.
Operating profit at its wholesale business unit was up 6.4 per cent, lifted by a 73 per cent rise in renewable energy output.
But profits at its retail arm fell by 20 per cent, caused by a dip in customer numbers and average consumption.
The full year dividend has increased by 6.8 per cent to 80.1p from 75.0p the year before, but was lower than the 83.58p analysts had forecast.
Lord Smith of Kelvin, chairman of SSE, said that higher wholesale gas prices, falling demand for energy and a succession of winter storms had presented major challenges.
He added: “The fact that, despite all of this, SSE has again delivered increases in the full year dividend and in adjusted profit before tax demonstrates the resilience inherent in its balanced model of market-based and economically-regulated businesses, and the robustness of its strategy of focusing on operations and investment in each of those businesses.”
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