Dow Jones Newswires: SSE swings to profit and lifts guidance

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SSE PLC reported Wednesday a swing to pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2020 and raised its guidance for the year.

The FTSE 100 energy company SSE, +1.90%  said that for the six months ended Sept. 30, its pretax profit was 128.9 million pounds ($165.4 million) compared with a loss of GBP284.6 million for the first half of fiscal 2019.

Adjusted pretax profit, one of the company’s preferred metrics which strips out exceptional and other one-off items, was GBP491.9 million, up 15%.

Revenue was GBP3.05 billion, compared with GBP3.32 billion the year before.

The board declared an interim dividend of 24 pence a share, compared with 29.3 pence the year before.

SSE said it remains to committed to a full-year dividend of 80 pence a share as part of its five-year dividend plan to March 2023.

The company said that at Sept. 30 SSE Energy Services, and its interests in gas production assets, were being held for sale. However the structure of the disposal of gas production interests — comprised of assets and hedging contracts — means the hedging contracts will be retained and aren’t accounted for as held for sale.

The company said it estimates this will add around 3 pence to its previous fiscal 2020 adjusted earnings per share forecast. SSE now expects adjusted EPS — a key measure which strips out exceptional and other one-off items — to be 83 pence to 88 pence. In September 2019, SSE’s forecast full-year adjusted earnings per share was around 80 pence to 85 pence, taking into account the impact of holding its interest in Gas Production for sale.

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