FTSE 100: SSE makes £1bn profit as customers face huge energy bills

SSE  Scottish and Southern Energy signage on a van in Perth after the energy firm announced price increases.
SSE said net investment into vital UK and Ireland infrastructure could exceed £25bn this decade. Photo: PA (PA)

SSE (SSE.L) reported a sharp rise in annual profit amid a cost of living crunch that is seeing UK households struggling to pay energy bills.

The group's adjusted pretax profit came in at £1.16bn ($1.45bn) for the year ended March 31, up 23% from £948.9m a year earlier.

The Perth, Scotland-based electricity provider, said net investment into vital UK and Ireland infrastructure “could exceed £25bn this decade, creating thousands of jobs and directly addressing the energy crisis in the longer term".

Read more: Scottish Power boss warns of huge winter energy bills

Chief executive Alistair Phillips Davies said: "In the context of a global energy crisis and intense pressure on the cost of living, we are helping to drive the build-out of vital electricity infrastructure that will reduce dependency on imported gas and help protect consumers from future price spikes, and in doing so we are investing significantly more than we are making in profits.”

The UK's energy price cap is expected to rise in October to around £2,800.

Read more: What is the cost of living and how you can manage yours

The Resolution Foundation said that the increase could mean 9.6 million households in England are in "fuel stress" this winter. Fuel stress is where at least 10% of a household's total expenditure is spent on energy bills.

The results come as the UK is reported to be considering a windfall tax on companies that are benefitting from high energy prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Treasury is understood to be finalising plans for a new windfall tax on energy firms that would be used to help those who are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.

Read more: National Grid posts £4bn profits as it cashes in on energy crisis

Boris Johnson is reportedly poised to announce a multibillion-pound package of measures to alleviate some of the pressures facing households across the country, who are being hit with the soaring cost of energy and food.

Shares in the FTSE 100-listed were 4.6% higher in London on Wednesday morning at 1,845.00 pence each.

SSE said it plans to recommend a final dividend of 60.2p a share, taking the full-year dividend to 85.7p, up from 81p the year before.

Watch: Cost of living: What is the energy price cap and why are bills rising so sharply?