SSE to announce profits increase after implementing price rise

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Just over a month after it revealed that household energy bills were set to rise, SSE has announced that it expects to post much larger profits in November.

SSE stated at the end of August (2012) that it would be increasing the prices as a result of a hike in distribution costs; it also attributed the government's energy efficiency schemes for the rise - which will see both gas and electricity price increase by an average of 9 per cent from October 15.

However, Consumer Focus has responded by stating that there isn't any evidence of rises at wholesale to justify price rises from SSE or any of its rivals.

In an official statement, it stated: "It is vital the regulator continues to scrutinise the market to make sure consumers are paying a fair price and profits are at acceptable levels."

SSE has said that it expects "significantly higher" profits to be posted for the six month period leading up to the end of September (30) when compared to result posted for the same period last year (2011). As a result of this, the shareholder's annual dividend payments could be set to rise two per cent above the inflation level.

The supplier - one of the UK's big six - stated that the retail arm of its business lost nearly £100 million in the same period last year, blaming the loss on a low demand for power and higher wholesale prices.

Commenting on the announcement that SSE expected to see an increase in profits for the period, a spokesman said: "This is a return to profit after what was an exceptionally poor year. We saw a drop in demand and we made a significant loss as a result, so we took it on the chin."

Gregor Alexander, SSE's finance chief, also commented: "Energy market conditions remain challenging and this has an impact on providers and customers, but SSE is focused on maintaining financial discipline."

SSE is one of the many energy suppliers participating in the Warm Home Discount Scheme.

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