SSE plc SSE The first quarter was impacted by weather conditions with hydro output higher than last year due to higher snow melt but for both years output was below expected levels, with this year, some 20% lower than expected. Output from onshore and offshore wind farms has been around 15% below expectations due to poorer than average wind conditions. Finally temperatures in the UK for the three months to the 30th June were 1.5 degrees centigrade warmer than thirty-year average, leading to a fall of about 10% in average domestic gas demand. Dry, still and warm weather, has also been accompanied by persistently high gas prices. Thus energy costs have risen, electricity output from renewable sources has fallen at the same time as demand. All of these factors have negatively impacted adjusted operating profit for the quarter by some 80m which will potentially have an impact on the full year results.
Unilever plc ULVR claims a solid all round performance in challenging market conditions for its first half with one of the highlights being a 5% drop in turnover including an adverse currency impact of 8.9%. More and more companies failing to meet expextations, seek refuge in challenging market conditions, without ever explaining what exactly the challenges were and why management was incapable of meeting them. SSE appears to be no exception treating it as one of the facts of business life for which they need not offer a meaningful explanation.
Sports Direct Intl SPD will no doubt please shareholders with the news that t has am elevation strategy which is continuing to exceed expectations. Preliminary results for the year to the 29th April show that on a reported basis, profit before tax fell by 72.5% and earnings per share by 88.3%. On an underlying basis the figures showed rises of 34.5% and 74.6%, respectively.
Babcock International Group BAB updates that it has delivered strong growth in its aviation and nuclear sectors but defence revenues have been impacted, albeit perhaps only on a temporary basis, by another government restructuring in the creation of a Submarine Delivery Agency whose main purpose in life, apart from the creation of more jobs for the boys, appears to be the creation of slowdowns and delays in activity levels. Perhaps another level of bureaucracy could be added to get levels of activity back to where they were before the new agency was created.