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SSE raises dividend after energy bills rise

Scottish & Southern Energy, one of the big suppliers that raised prices over the summer, said yesterday it was on track to pay an inflation-busting dividend to its shareholders.

The company, which changes its name to SSE today, predicted it would increase its shareholder payout by at least 2 per cent more than RPI inflation this financial year. It forecast £1.7bn of capital and investment spending for the current year to support future dividend growth. The utility, which last week pulled out of its UK nuclear new-build consortium, said most of the money would be spent on wind farm projects, replacement transmission lines and upgrades.

Scottish & Southern upped its typical gas price by 18 per cent and electricity charge by 11 per cent from 14 September in a round of increases by the big six providers. Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, this week accused the big six of operating in a "rigged market". But Ian Marchant, chief executive of Scottish & Southern, said: "Our commitment to above-inflation dividend growth is as strong as ever."