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02 Feb 2021 | 07:36

SSE backs full-year guidance

(Sharecast News) - SSE backed its full-year guidance on Tuesday as it said it expects to take a £200m hit to full-year operating profit from the Covid-19 crisis. The company still expects full-year 2020/21 adjusted earnings per share of between 85p and 90p, based on normal weather conditions prevailing for the final three months of the year.

In addition, it said the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on full-year operating profit is set to be towards the middle of the £150m to £250m range originally estimated in its full-year results in June last year.

SSE plans to recommend a full-year dividend of 80p per share plus RPI for 2020/21 and continues to target annual RPI increases to 2023 as set out in its five-year dividend plan.

For the nine months to the end of December 2020, electricity output from SSE's gas-fired generation plant was almost 8% higher than in the same period in 2019. Meanwhile, electricity output from renewable sources in which it has an ownership interest across the UK and Ireland was 402 GWh, or just over 5% below plan, mainly due to wind resource.

SSE also said it's on track to realise more than £2bn from its disposals programme and that it has appointed banks to review options to divest all or part of its stake in Scotia Gas Networks (SGN).

Finance director Gregor Alexander said: "With solid operational performance and strong strategic execution, SSE is well positioned as we move towards the end of our financial year.

"Our robust business model is mitigating the impact of coronavirus, our disposal programme is proceeding at pace and at Dogger Bank we have shown yet again that we can develop opportunities and create value from world-class assets."
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