Britain’s SSE sticks with 7.5 bln stg investment plans

LONDON, July 16 (Reuters) - British renewable power generator and network operator SSE Plc said on Thursday it will stick with plans to invest 7.5 billion pounds ($9.4 billion) in low-carbon projects over the next five years, and also maintain its dividend schedule.

“Whilst the wider economic implication of the coronavirus continues to impact on the business, we’ve been... progressing our 7.5 billion pound capex plan of low-carbon investments, primarily in renewables and electricity networks,” the company said in a trading update.

The company is anticipating a hit to profits of 150-250 million pounds this financial year due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to drop in demand for energy.

The company turned its focus to renewable power generation and networks after selling its household energy supply and services arm to OVO Energy at the beginning of the year in a deal worth 500 million pounds ($628.40 million).

SSE has a number of renewable projects in development and earlier this month sold a 51% stake in its Seagreen 1 British offshore wind farm project to oil major Total.

SSE said it also intended to continue with its five-year dividend plan to 2022/2023, with an interim dividend of 24.4p to be declared in November 2020 for payment in March 2021. ($1 = 0.7976 pounds) (Reporting By Susanna Twidale; Editing by Alex Richardson)