Gas crisis squeezes earnings at ScottishPower

Bosses at the company are preparing to welcome world leaders to Glasgow next week for the next UN climate change conference

August Graham
Wednesday 27 October 2021 19:21
ScottishPower has invested in green energy generation since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015 (Danny Lawson/PA)
ScottishPower has invested in green energy generation since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015 (Danny Lawson/PA)

Energy giant ScottishPower has reported a big drop in earnings after a squeeze on the sector caused by a spike in gas prices.

The supplier said its retail business had seen earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) drop by 39 per cent to £83m in the last quarter.

It marks a sharp contrast to the first and second quarters of the year when the division notched up strong growth.

At their peak earlier this month, UK gas prices had spiked around fivefold since January. Although they have given back some of this rise, prices remain high.

It has led to the collapse of 13 energy suppliers since the start of September.

Although ScottishPower’s earnings have been squeezed, it is unlikely to go the way of its rivals. Alongside its supply side, the company also generates huge amounts of electricity from its wind farms.

In the six years since the Paris Climate Agreement we’ve transformed our business model. We closed our coal plants and are proud to have played our part in Scotland being coal-free since 2016

Keith Anderson, ScottishPower chief executive

ScottishPower chief executive, Keith Anderson, said: “The energy price spike is a gas issue and a stark reminder of why we have to decarbonise our energy sector quickly and efficiently.”

His comments come as the Spanish-owned but Glasgow-based company prepares for world leaders to descend on the city for the UN climate change summit Cop26

Mr Anderson added: “Cop26 starts in our home city of Glasgow in three days and at ScottishPower, in the six years since the Paris Climate Agreement, we’ve transformed our business model.

“We closed our coal plants and are proud to have played our part in Scotland being coal-free since 2016.

“We’ve done this through our highest ever level of sustained investment delivering a record £10bn in the UK, in five years on renewable energy projects and smart digital grid networks.

“And we’re not stopping. Last week we committed a further £6bn to the East Anglia Offshore Hub, subject to planning approval, our largest ever investment in a single development.

“This is the acceleration in green energy investment we need if we’re to meet the ambitions of the Cop26 summit and reach net zero.

“All of this during the ongoing energy crisis and the likelihood of a difficult winter.”

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