Soaring gas prices hitprofits at SSE

SSE has posted a 25 per cent fall in half-year profits to £287m as soaring wholesale gas costs meant it supplied household energy at a loss until it hiked bills in September.

The energy giant, which trades as Southern Electric, Swalec and Scottish Hydro, said consumers had cut gas usage by 16 per cent in the six months to 30 September, and electricity usage by 4 per cent.