SSE Plc SSE Notification of Close Period

  SSE Plc (SSE) - Notification of Close Period

RNS Number : 2411N
SSE PLC
28 September 2012




                         NOTIFICATION OF CLOSE PERIOD

                                      

SSE plc will enter its close period on 1 October 2012, prior to the
publication on Wednesday 14 November 2012 of its financial report for the six
months to 30 September 2012.



Since the publication of its Interim Management Statement (IMS) on 26 July
2012, SSE has: announced that it will increase household electricity and gas
prices in Great Britain by an average of 9% on 15 October; secured a reduction
in cash dividend funding of £172.7m as a result of shareholders electing for
the Scrip dividend alternative; and successfully launched an issue of hybrid
capital securities comprising US $700m and €750m, which are perpetual and
subordinate to all senior creditors, with an all-in euro funding cost to SSE
of around 5.6% per annum.



SSE has also: completed the restoration of electricity generation at the
Glendoe hydro electric scheme; announced that all of the 140 turbines at the
Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm, in which it has a 50% stake, have been
commissioned and generated electricity; secured, through its Telecoms
business, a 10-year, £30m contract to provide fibre network connected to the
'Janet' networks; and officially opened the Clyde onshore wind farm.



Eight of the nine caverns at the gas storage facility developed at Aldbrough
by SSE and Statoil (UK) Ltd are now operational and the final cavern should
become operational next month. The acquisition of the electricity generation
assets in Ireland of Endesa Generacion SA is expected to be completed in
October.



In addition, Standard & Poor's Rating Services have affirmed SSE's long term
rating of A- while changing its rating outlook from stable to negative.
Moody's corporate credit rating of SSE remains A3 with a stable outlook.



As again stated in its IMS in July, SSE focuses on full year financial
results, as opposed to six months, because half-year performance at plc level
and within reportable segments, especially in Retail and Wholesale, is more
likely to fluctuate, with unusual variations or circumstances.



Against this background, SSE's adjusted profit before tax for the six months
to 30 September 2012 is expected to be significantly higher than in the same
six months in 2011 and to return to a level closer to that attained in 2010.



In line with that, SSE expects to report that all three of its segments -
Networks, Retail and Wholesale - have been profitable during the six months to
30 September 2012. In the same period in 2011, its Retail segment recorded an
operating loss of almost £100m, including an operating loss of over £125m in
Energy Supply.



All of this means that adjusted profit before tax achieved in the first six
months of this financial year is likely to account for a substantially greater
proportion of that achieved by SSE in 2012/13 as a whole than was the case for
2011/12. This again illustrates the fluctuating nature of financial results
for six month periods and should have no implications for the full financial
year.



SSE remains on course to achieve its principal financial objective for 2012/13
- an increase of at least 2% more than RPI inflation in the dividend payable
to shareholders. Thereafter, as set out in its Financial Report on 16 May
2012, its target remains to deliver annual dividend increases which are
greater than RPI inflation while maintaining dividend cover over the medium
term within a range around 1.5 times.



As also stated in its Financial Report, SSE's expectation at the start of each
financial year is that it will not provide an outlook for adjusted profit
before tax before the publication of its fourth quarter Interim Management
Statement and that remains the case for 2012/13.



Gregor Alexander, Finance Director of SSE, said:



"Energy market conditions remain challenging, and this has an impact on
providers and customers, but SSE is focused on maintaining financial
discipline while working to meet the needs of customers in what are difficult
economic times."





                     This information is provided by RNS
           The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

END


MSCXQLFLLKFEBBQ -0- Sep/28/2012 06:00 GMT
 
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