SSE Airtricity claims 17% of Irish gas and electric market

Utility group writes down value of power stations in Offaly and Mayo

The company had 790,000 household and business customer accounts in the Republic and Northern Ireland at the end of March

The company had 790,000 household and business customer accounts in the Republic and Northern Ireland at the end of March

 

SSE Airtricity said on Wednesday it now has a 17 per cent share of the combined gas and electricity markets on the island of Ireland as the London-listed group reported its operating profit rose to £1.94 billion (€2.26 billion) in the year to March.

The company also estimated, citing data provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers, that it contributed €779 million to the Republic’s gross domestic product (GDP) during its financial year. The figure is down from the €805 million it reported for the previous year. Irish GDP amounted to €266 billion last year, according to the Department of Finance.

The company had 790,000 household and business customer accounts in the Republic and Northern Ireland at the end of March, according to the group’s annual results release. Revenues in the Republic rose slightly in the last financial year to £746.6 million from £745.9 million.

SSE, formerly Scottish and Southern Energy, entered the Irish market nine years ago with the purchase of Airtricity and went on to buy Spanish utility group Endesa’s Irish operation in 2012.

The group said on Thursday that it has taken a £30.7 million impairment charge against two Irish oil-burning power stations – at Rhode, Co Offaly, and Tawnaghmore in Co Mayo – which formed part of the €488 million Endesa Ireland deal five years ago.

The writedown reflects the plans “age and future competitive prospects” as the industry prepares for the introduction of the Integrated Single Electricity Market (I-Sem) on the island of Ireland next year. The remaining value of the SSE Airtricity’s thermal electricity plants in Ireland is £384.4 million.