ScottishPower has lauded a “pivotal year” after its renewables business surged and its liberalised power supply business bucked the market trend to report a near trebling in earnings.
Reporting its results for 2018 this morning, ScottishPower announced a 187% year-on-year increase in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) from its liberalised business to £271.8 million.
In addition, its renewables outfit – essentially formed after the firm sold the last of its gas-fired power stations to Drax last October – reported a 33% surge in earnings on the back of high wind speeds.
Meanwhile the company’s networks division, SP Energy Networks, saw earnings rise by 5% year-on-year to £813.4 million, performance which ScottishPower said was in line with expectations. The division, which owns both transmission and distribution networks in Scotland, has also been linked with a move to acquire Electricity North West in recent weeks.
But it’s the firm’s liberalised business performance which is perhaps most eye catching given, as the firm has noted, it goes against the trend of competitor performance in the market.
ScottishPower delivered a retail margin of more than 3% throughout 2018, maintained customer numbers above five million while simultaneously investing heavily in consumer offerings. The firm has installed around 1.2 million smart meters and last year launched an end-to-end EV solution followed by a smart EV tariff it described as a game changer.
In comparison, both SSE and EDF have already reported losing hundreds of thousands of customers in recent times, and npower confirmed last month that is to lose around 900 jobs this year as it continues to adapt to the UK energy retail market’s richly competitive landscape.
Keith Anderson, chief executive at ScottishPower, said the last year had been pivotal for the company.
“ScottishPower has changed and we are proud to be different to others in our sector. It’s clear our customers are backing our commitment to green energy and our investment in a cleaner healthier future as, unlike others, our overall customer numbers have remained stable in 2018.”
“ScottishPower now has a solid, green foundation across all our businesses to connect people to a clean, healthy and cheaper, all-electric future,” he said.
ScottishPower also boosted the fortunes of parent company and energy giant Iberdrola, which today reported net profits of more than €3 billion (£2.6 billion) for the first time in its history.