Airtricity owner SSE facing 'difficult' conditions

Airtricity owner SSE facing 'difficult' conditions

UK energy giant SSE, which owns Airtricity, insisted it was battling “difficult” energy market conditions as it revealed a £115.4m (€137.2m) loss in its retail supply business just weeks after announcing a hike in household bills.

The group, which has more than nine million customers and is the UK’s second largest generator of electricity, blamed the performance on rising costs of wholesale energy, environmental and social policies and distribution.

Its overall underlying group profits fell 11.7% to £354m in the six months to September 30, but SSE delivered a 3.2% increase in its interim dividend payment to investors and pledged to hand out above inflation increases in its full year dividend, claiming this was vital to ensure the group is able to raise enough money to fund spending on its network.

SSE was the first of the major UK suppliers to announce a tariff rise, saying last month that it would lift prices by an average of 8.2% from Friday.

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