SSE latest trade update: Lack of rain blamed for 40% hydro output drop

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UK energy firm SSE has blamed a lack of rain for a 40% drop in hydro energy output.

However in the company's latest trade update covering the nine months up until December of last year, it reported an increase in wind power which offset the fall in hydro output.

The trade update confirmed a 40 drop% in hydro energy, only a year after seeing record levels during the 2011/12 period.

Due to an increase in output from wind energy however, the firm's total generation from renewable sources was only down a marginal amount - dropping from 5.3 terawatt hours (Twh) to 5.2Twh.

In fact, the firm was able to announce it had exceeded 2000MW of renewable energy for the first time at the end of last year on December 28.

SSE is a significant player in the 'Big Six' energy firms - currently standing as the second largest supplier of energy in the UK.

However the firm, which is part of the Warm Home Discount Scheme, saw its electricity and gas customers fall from 9.55 million to 9.45 million - in spite of the acquisition of Phoenix Holdings last June which brought 130,000 new customers to the firm.

SSE chief executive, Ian Marchant, said that the economic uncertainty of the financial year had not only affected the energy customers, but also the electricity firms as well.

He said: "SSE's balanced model of market-based and economically regulated businesses and strategy of focusing on operations and investments in these businesses is again proving to be robust.

"The overall performance of the company has been good in 2012/13 and I'm pleased that SSE is on course to deliver further growth in the dividend and an encouraging increase in adjusted profit before tax in this financial year."

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