SSE defends profits surge of 40 per cent after hiking prices
Following stints with Reuters and the Press Association, Martin Hickman joined The Independent as a news editor in 2001. He became the Consumer Affairs Correspondent in September 2005 and has run the paper's trenchant campaigns on packaging, bank charges and factory-farmed chicken. He writes on subjects as diverse as food, finance, energy and fashion. With Tom Watson, he is author of a new book on the phone hacking scandal, Dial M for Murdoch - News Corporation and the Corruption of Britain.
Thursday 15 November 2012
The energy supplier SSE angered consumer groups yesterday by revealing a near 40 per cent surge in profits, weeks after slapping an extra £100 on fuel bills.
Half-year profits at the company, whose Southern Electric, Swalec and Scottish Hydro brands have 5 million customers, jumped 38 per cent to £397m – up £110m.
SSE raised its prices by 9 per cent in October, taking its average duel fuel bill to £1,354, £260 more than in January 2011. Then, it blamed higher wholesale, distribution and environmental costs.
Yesterday it sought to win over the public by saying that only 8 per cent of profits came from its residential supply business.
Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which? called for the Government to set up an independent review into recent price increases. He said: "Without greater scrutiny of energy prices, consumers simply will not believe that they're getting a good deal."
SSE, the UK's second-largest generator of electricity, posted its results just days after the City and energy regulators launched an investigation into allegations that energy traders manipulated wholesale prices.
Yesterday SSE said its profits were needed to reward investors, and said its margin on energy supply was 1.5 per cent. It also raised its dividend for shareholders by 5 per cent to 25.2p a share.
Lord Smith of Kelvin, SSE's chairman, said: "I believe that profit and dividend allow SSE to employ people, pay tax, provide services that customers need, make investments that keep the lights on and create jobs, while providing an income return that shareholders like pension funds need."
- 1 Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Average penis size revealed: Scientists attempt to find what is 'normal' to reassure concerned men
Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
China's 'Inconvenient Truth': video exposing country’s smog crisis watched 100 million times
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
iJobs Money & Business
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: An outstanding new...
£20000 - £21000 per annum + uncapped commission: SThree: As a graduate you are...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...