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Profits are hotting up; CITY DESK; SSE ARE HOPING TO CUT PRICES.

Byline: GRAHAM HISCOTT

TWO of Britain's biggest energy firms announced an PS800million profit haul yesterday.

SSE saw profits grow 4.6 per cent to more than PS370million in the six months to the end of September.

Rival E.ON raked in PS439million from across their UK arms in the first nine months of the year.

Both firms complained that their supply businesses were hit by the warm weather.

But that didn't stop SSE slashing half-year losses in this area from PS115million to PS16.9million, with the Perth company expected to make a profit in the retail arm for the full year.

The UK's second-largest supplier have seen account numbers slump by nearly 500,000 in the past year, despite announcing a price freeze until at least 2016.

Profits in SSE's power generation arm tumbled 83.4 per cent to PS26.7million but rose by 4.7 per cent to PS458million in their regulated networks offshoot. Will Morris, who heads SSE's retail operation, held out hope of a price cut after a slump in wholesale gas costs.

He said: "We've definitely seen some improvement, which is why we're looking very hard now at trying to get prices down and we'll be the first to do that probably because SSE act first."

He said: "We've definitely seen some improvement, which is why we're looking very hard now at trying to get prices down and we'll be the first to do that probably because SSE act first."

SSE also announced that their chairman Lord Smith of Kelvin would step down from their board on January 1 next year, after 13 years of service.

E.ON made PS158million profit from supplying gas and electricity to homes and businesses in the first nine months of the year, down from PS236million last year.

Boss Tony Cocker said: "Despite profits being down, we invested PS50million in our supply business."

The fall was partly offset by a rise in profits in E.ON's generation arm, which went from PS242million to PS281million.

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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion Column
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 13, 2014
Words:333
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