British renewable power generator and network operator SSE today confirmed its full-year dividend and posted a better- than-expected annual pre-tax profit.
But it but warned that the coronavirus crisis would dent earnings for the current financial year.
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 ££500m.
SSE said its adjusted profit before tax rose to £1.02 billion For the 12 months ended March 31, beating analysts' estimates of £959.3m.
SSE said it would stick with the planned full-year dividend of 80 pence per share for 2018/19, with the final 56p share payment to be made on September 18 2020.
"We have put in place a comprehensive plan to achieve the related objectives of sustaining the dividend payments which provides vital income for people's pensions and savings," Richard Gillingwater, SSE chairman, said in a statement.
More than 100 British companies, including retailer Marks & Spencer and broadcaster ITV, earlier this year postponed or ditched dividend payments to preserve cash because of the economic fallout from the coronavirus.
SSE said it was too soon to predict accurately the full extent of the coronavirus hit to the business, but said it expected a negative impact of £150-250m in 2020/21, mainly because of lower energy demand.
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.