18:07 13 November 2013
Just days before household bills are set to increase by an average 8.2per cent, energy firm SSE has announced half-year profits and a bigger payout to shareholders. SSE’s pre-tax profit has amounted to £336.4m in the six months leading up to 30 September.
However, the firm said that its retail arm, which supplies energy to homes, has an operating loss of £89.4m due to higher wholesale gas charges and the growing cost of government “green” levies. Because of this, the firm is increasing household gas and electricity bills three times the rate of inflation.
Will Morris, group managing director of SSE's retail business, said: "Some politicians and media commentators have claimed recently that we value our shareholders more than our customers.”
"Or to put it another way, we're focused on paying them a dividend on their shares, regardless of what that means for our customers.
"Nothing could be further from the truth."
He added: "Without the investment made by shareholders, we couldn't afford to build the infrastructure or buy the equipment needed to deliver what customers need."
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