One of the big six energy suppliers, SSE, has announced that its profits have soared by a staggering 38% in the six months up to September, just weeks after it announced a 9% hike in energy prices.
The increase took SSE’s adjusted pre-tax profits to £397.5m; a figure that consumer groups have suggested will leave the 8.4 million SSE customers affected by the rise in gas and electricity prices with little faith in the energy companies.
SSE also announced a 5% increase in its payout to shareholders. The firm is just one of the UK’s energy giants to see profits soar in 2012, ahead of energy price increases. British Gas forged ahead with a 6% increase in energy prices on November 16th, despite the fact that half-year profits leapt by 25% to £345m.
Commenting on the figures, Mark Todd, director of independent price comparison service Energyhelpline.com, said:
“The only people who seem to be really winning in today’s energy market are the companies and their shareholders. Customers need to start getting better value. Energy needs to be a feel-good product, not the feel-bad one that it seems to have become.
“These profit announcements, coupled with price rises of between 6% and 10% have left consumers reeling. UK households now face a bitterly cold winter in which record-breaking fuel bills are likely to hit over £500 over the Christmas and New Year period.”
Other energy suppliers that have increased energy prices include EDF (10.8%), Scottish Power (8.8%), and Npower (8.8%).
However, The Co-operative Energy company has bucked this trend, by announcing that it is cutting the cost of electricity by 2%, from December 21st. This brings the Co-op’s annual dual fuel average energy price to £1,143, a figure that beats all ‘Big Six’ suppliers.
Speculation is also rife that E.on will make a December announcement of energy price increases, set to take effect early in the New Year. However, the company has only confirmed that it will not raise prices until at least January.
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