Winter sparks 28% SSE profits rise

SSEEnergy giant SSE pocketed a 28% profits boost from UK households over the past year as they turned up their heating to keep out the bitter winter weather.

SSE's retail operation made £410.1 million in the 12 months to March, compared with £321.6 million in the previous 12 months as gas consumption increased by a fifth.
Overall pre-tax profits rose by 6% from £1.34 billion to £1.41 billion.

But executive bonuses were slashed by 40% in the wake of a mis-selling scandal which last month saw the company fined £10.5 million for misleading customers about prices and savings that could be made by switching over.
Lord Smith of Kelvin, the chairman of SSE, apologised over the practice. The firm said: "Companies don't just have to earn profits; they have to earn profits in the right way."

But the words will come as cold comfort to families after a year when SSE hit them with a 9% bill hike.

The energy giant said household consumption of gas over 2012/13 - which included a prolonged cold spell at the start of this year - went up 21%, with electricity use rising 5%. But its customer numbers in Britain and Ireland fell by 80,000 to 9.47 million.
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