Scottish Power loses 120,000 customers in year

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SCOTTISH Power has announced the loss of 120,000 customers and a 71 per cent drop in pre-tax earnings over the last year.

The firm cited the milder winter earlier this year and the UK Government’s energy price cap as it released its second quarter results.

It comes as major energy players have been shedding customers amid competition from new entrants in the market and Scottish Hydroelectric owner SSE lost 570,000 customers in the year to March.

Scottish Power Renewables reported pre-tax earnings of £213.4 million, a rise of four per cent.

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The increase in Ebitda of £8.2m came as higher energy prices compensated for lower wind volumes in the second quarter.

It said the liberalised business Ebitda decreased to £48.8m, down £117m, or 71%, “due to the very mild 2019 winter in comparison to last year, adding the disposal of the generation business to Drax also had a small impact.

Scottish Power’s market share has gone going down to 4.75 million as about 50 firms are competing for customers.

Keith Anderson, Scottish Power chief executive, said: “A milder winter, in comparison to 2018’s Beast from the East, together with the ongoing price cap, has impacted our liberalised business.

“But a positive performance in Renewables and Networks at the mid-year reflects Scottish Power’s sustained delivery of innovative and green investments, the wind generation and new infrastructure we need to deliver the UK’s long-term net zero ambitions.

“As the first energy company to go 100% green, we welcomed the legislation to underpin the UK’s commitment to carbon net zero and we’ve committed to investing £2 billion in 2019 to support the race to zero.”

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He added: “The UK now has the opportunity to use the energy white paper, expected later this year, to provide the framework that will allow the regulator, government and industry to efficiently and cost-effectively decarbonise the UK economy.”

In parent company Iberdrola’s first-half results for 2019, net profit was €1.644bn, up 16.6%, and it invested a record €3bn, up 23%.

Ignacio Galan, group chairman, said: “This double-digit growth highlights the success of our business model, based on a commitment to clean energy, regulated assets with stable and predictable returns, and a well-judged geographical diversification.

“I’m pleased to confirm that we’re delivering on our strategic outlook faster than expected, which allows us to announce an upward revision of our full-year net profit guidance.”

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Iberdrola said the €3.054bn investment is the group’s largest figure over a six-month period, and that 48% of capital expenditure was allocated to renewable energy with 40% to regulated transmission and distribution networks.

It said there was good performance of international businesses with gross operating profit growing by 12.5% to €4.99bn, due to the positive performances in the United States, Mexico and Brazil and the contribution of the Wikinger offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea.

This offset lower contributions from the networks and renewables businesses in Spain and UK generation and retail business, the firm said.

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