Source - RNS
RNS Number : 3704I
16 June 2017


Annual Financial Report


Following the Preliminary Results announcement on 17 May 2017, SSE plc confirms that it has published its Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2017.


The Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held at the Perth Concert Hall, Mill Street, Perth PH1 5HZ on Thursday, 20 July 2017 at 12 noon.  The mailing to shareholders of the AGM documentation has commenced, and copies of the Annual Report and Accounts and the Notice of Annual General Meeting for 2017 are available to view on the Company's website:


In accordance with Listing Rule 9.6.1, copies of the Annual Report and Accounts, Notice of Annual General Meeting, and Form of Proxy for 2017 have been submitted to the UK Listing Authority and will shortly be available for inspection from the National Storage Mechanism, which can be accessed at:


The information that follows in Sections 1 to 3 is extracted in unedited full text from the 2017 Annual Report and Accounts and is included in this announcement for the purpose of compliance with Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rule 6.3.5.  The information reproduced should be read in conjunction with the Preliminary Results announcement issued on 17 May 2017.  Together these constitute the material required by Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rule 6.3.5 to be communicated to the media in unedited full text through a Regulatory Information Service.  This material is not a substitute for reading the full 2017 Annual Report and Accounts.  Page numbers and cross-references in the extracted information attached refer to page numbers and cross-references in the 2017 Annual Report and Accounts. 


Section 1 - Principal Risks and Uncertainties:  The following information is extracted from pages 24 to 27 of the 2017 Annual Report and Accounts.


Risk Management Framework

Supporting the achievement of SSE's strategic objectives


The Group's objectives are set through the Strategic Framework. To support the achievement of these over the past 12 months the Board has sought to further mature and embed the Risk Management Framework (as detailed below) that has been developed over the past three years. For further information on how SSE manages risk, please see the supplementary Group Risk Report.


The Executive Committee and its subcommittees have responsibility for overseeing SSE's Principal Risks. During the third quarter of SSE's financial year, a self assessment is completed for each of SSE's Principal Risks by an assigned oversight committee. This assessment requires committee members to provide commentary on contextual changes in the risk and whether they consider it to have become more or less material during the course of the year. These individual responses are consolidated into a report, one for each Principal Risk. The end reports are then presented back to the committees, along with the results of provisional viability testing and analysis of relevant and current Management Information.


Following presentation of the assessment information, the committees discuss and reach a consensus regarding risk trend (more, less or equally material), overall effectiveness of the risk control and monitoring environment, and whether any additional actions are required to improve the control environment. The outputs from the committee assessments are then presented to the Executive Committee for full review, with any material changes resulting from this being proposed to the Board for approval.


Following the 2016/17 review process, the number of Principal Risks to the Group was increased from nine to ten with the pre-existing "Cyber and Networks Failure" risk being split into two separate risks - Cyber Security and Resilience and Energy Infrastructure Failure. In addition, the "Human and Relationship Capital" risk has been expanded and renamed, becoming People and Culture.


System of internal control


The diagram below [set out on page 24 and 25 of the 2017 Annual Report and Accounts] details SSE's wider System of Internal Control and how the Risk Management Framework is aligned with the other elements of it.


There are five related frameworks which, combined, comprise SSE's system of internal control.


The Corporate Governance Framework is designed to ensure focus on the key components of high quality and effective decision making - clarity, accountability, transparency and efficiency. For further details please see page 58 of the Directors' report.


The Strategic Framework comprises the Group's strategic objectives, financial objective and our responsibility framework. For further details please see page 12 to 23 of the Strategic Report. The strategic framework forms the basis for all activity within the Risk Management Framework.


The Risk Management Framework is underpinned by the fundamental principle that everyone at SSE is responsible for the management of risk. The Risk Management Framework supports each Division in managing its risks and helps to ensure that the

Board is able to meet its obligations.


The Assurance Framework. Group Audit, Group Compliance, Group SHE and LCP Services work together to provide an integrated programme of audit and assurance activity that is independent of the day to day operations of the Divisions and Corporate Functions.


The Standards and Quality Framework sets out the expected standards and guidelines to be followed in the delivery of the Group's core purpose - providing the energy people.


Risk Appetite Statement


No business is risk-free and indeed the achievement of SSE's strategic objectives necessarily involves taking risk. SSE will however only accept risk where it is appropriate, well understood, can be effectively managed and offers commensurate reward.


The markets in which SSE operates are inherently subject to a high degree of political, regulatory and legislative risk. Furthermore each of SSE's business divisions has differing levels of exposure to additional risks. For example, the Networks business is largely regulated and is characterised by stable, inflation linked cashflows whereas the Wholesale and Retail businesses are heavily exposed to energy market and commodity risk. Affordability and industry transformation also particularly affect the Retail business while Enterprise is exposed to the risks that come with growth in a highly competitive market place.


The key elements of SSE's strategic framework - including the diversity of energy businesses within the SSE Group described above, as well as its financial objective - are fully reflective of its risk appetite:

·     SSE seeks to avoid over-exposure to any single part of the energy sector and therefore maintains a balanced range of economically regulated and market based energy businesses;

·     production, storage, transmission, distribution, supply and related services provide a balanced portfolio of business activities whilst keeping the depth of focus on a single sector - energy; and

·     Great Britain and Ireland gives SSE a geographic markets focus and a clear understanding of the risks and opportunities in those markets.


In areas where SSE is exposed to risks for which it has little or no appetite, even though it has implemented high standards of control and mitigation, the nature of these risks mean that they cannot be eliminated completely. In determining its appetite for specific risks, the Board is guided by three key principles:

1.    Risks should be consistent with SSE's strategy, financial objective and core values - safety is SSE's number one value and it has no appetite for risks brought on by unsafe actions;

2.    Risks should only be accepted where appropriate reward is achievable on the basis of objective evidence; and

3.    Risks should be actively controlled and monitored through the appropriate allocation of management and other resources.


The Board has overall responsibility for determining the nature and extent of the risk it is willing to take and for ensuring that risks are managed effectively across the Group.


Group Principal Risks


Commodity Prices

Oversight: Wholesale Risk Committee

The risk associated with the Group's exposure to fluctuations in both the physical volumes and price of key commodities, including electricity, gas, CO2 permits, oil and related foreign exchange values. Key mitigations include the use of VaR monitoring measures and daily assessments of commodity positions by a risk management team which is independent of the trading teams.

• Limited level of interconnection with SSE's other Principal Risks.


Cyber Security and Resilience

Oversight: Information Security and Privacy Committee

The risk that key infrastructure, networks or core systems are compromised or are otherwise rendered unavailable. Key mitigations include significant longer term Security Programme investment and ensuring staff awareness of security issues and their importance.

• Highly interconnected with SSE's other Principal Risks.


Development and Change

Oversight: Executive Committee

The risk of failing to recognise and react appropriately to competition, technological advancements and changes in customer expectations within the energy industry. Key mitigations include the implementation of various strategic change programmes which are governed by SSE's Transformation and Large Capital Projects and Governance Frameworks.

• Moderately interconnected with SSE's other Principal Risks.


Energy Affordability

Oversight: Retail Risk Committee

The risk that the combination of the cost of providing reliable and sustainable energy and the level of customers' incomes means that energy becomes unaffordable to a significant number of SSE's customers. This risk is directly connected to political interventions and commodity price exposure. Key mitigations include maintenance of a diverse generation fleet limiting exposure to a single commodity, as well as public policy lobbying to try to ensure the fair allocation of non-commodity costs related to energy provision.

• Limited level of interconnection with SSE's other Principal Risks.


Energy Infrastructure Failure

Oversight: Executive Committee

The risk of national energy infrastructure failure, whether in respect of assets owned by SSE or those owned by others which SSE relies on, that prevents the Group from meeting its obligations. Key

mitigations include wide-ranging asset management strategies, and membership and participation in national security forums such as the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI).

• Moderately interconnected with SSE's other Principal Risks.


Financial Liabilities

Oversight: Tax and Treasury Committee

The risk that funding is not available to meet SSE's financial liabilities, including those to its defined benefit pension schemes, as these fall due under both normal and stressed conditions without incurring unacceptable costs or risking damage to its reputation. Key mitigations include the mandatory maintenance of minimum borrowings and committed facilities to support forecast debt requirements, plus the ongoing de-risking of SSE's defined benefit pension schemes.

• Limited level of interconnection with SSE's other Principal Risks.


Major Projects Quality

Oversight: Group Large Capital Projects Committee

The risk that major assets that SSE builds do not meet the quality standards required to support economic lives of typically 15 to 30 years. Key mitigations include the Large Capital Project Governance Framework which ensures that all material capital investment projects across the Group are governed, developed, approved and executed in a consistent and effective manner.

• Moderately interconnected with SSE's other Principal Risks.


People and Culture

Oversight: Group Governance, Culture and Controls Committee

The risk that SSE is unable to attract, develop and retain an appropriately skilled, diverse and responsible workforce and leadership team, and maintain a healthy business culture which encourages and supports ethical behaviours and decision-making. Key mitigations include clear expectations relating to conduct and

accountability, the SSE SET of values, well developed succession and diversity plans, and comprehensive training and learning management across the organisation.

• Highly interconnected with SSE's other Principal Risks.


Politics, Regulation and Compliance

Oversight: Group Governance, Culture and Controls Committee

The risk from changes in obligations arising from operating in markets which are subject to a high degree of regulatory, legislative and political intervention and uncertainty. Key mitigations include the maintenance of dedicated Corporate Affairs, Regulation, Legal and Compliance functions that provide advice and guidance regarding the interpretation of political, regulatory and legislative changes to SSE's operating divisions.

• Highly interconnected with SSE's other Principal Risks.


Safety and the Environment

Oversight: Group Safety, Health and Environment Committee

The risk of harm to people, property or the environment from SSE's operations. Key mitigations include crisis management and business continuity plans that are in place and regularly tested, which are designed for the management of, and recovery from, significant safety and environmental events.

• Moderately interconnected with SSE's other Principal Risks.



SSE operates in fast moving markets that are subject to a high degree of political, regulatory and legislative intervention. It is therefore essential that SSE's Risk Management Framework is dynamic and flexible, allowing decision makers to focus on material risk information that may have an impact, whether positive or negative, on core objectives.


The Board and Executive Committee look to assess the Principal Risks that face the Group from a number of different perspectives, including both individually and collectively. This graphic [set out on page 27 of the 2017 Annual Report and Accounts]  illustrates SSE's ten Group Principal Risks positioned on a relative basis against two important metrics - interconnectivity (a highly interconnected risk has more ways to manifest than a less  interconnected risk), and potential impact on Group viability based on selected critical risk scenarios developed in conjunction with business experts.


In addition, the Principal Risks that were considered by their oversight Committees to have increased in materiality during the year are shown in red, with those whose materiality has not significantly changed are shown in blue. No Principal Risk was deemed to have decreased in materiality.


Viability Statement


As required within provision C.2.2 of the UK Corporate Governance Code, the Board has assessed the prospects of the Company over the next 3 financial years to the period ending 31 March 2020. The Directors have determined that as this time horizon aligns with the Group's current capital programme and is within the strategy planning period, a greater degree of confidence over the forecasting assumptions modelled can be established.


In making this statement the Directors have considered the resilience of the Group taking into account its current position, the Principal Risks facing the Group and the control measures in place to mitigate each of them. In particular the Directors recognise the significance of SSE's strong balance sheet, and committed lending facilities of £1.5bn which could be drawn down in most circumstances.


The Group also has a number of highly attractive and relatively liquid assets - including a regulated asset base which benefits from a strong regulated revenue stream as well as the operational wind portfolio - which provide flexibility of options. This was demonstrated in the successful sale during the 16/17 financial year of a 16.7% share of Scotia Gas Networks Ltd.


To help support this Statement, over the course of the year a suite of severe but plausible scenarios has been developed for each of SSE's Principal Risks. These scenarios are based on relevant real life events that have been observed either in the markets within which the Group operates or related markets globally. Examples include persistently low commodity prices (for "Commodity Prices"); changes to key government energy policies (for "Politics, Regulation & Compliance"); and, a major incident that results in the loss of a significant volume of customer data (for "Cyber Security and Resilience").


A formal assessment is carried out to stress test the scenarios that most have the potential to adversely affect SSE's ability to deliver its core purpose of "providing the energy people need in a reliable and sustainable way" against forecast available financial headroom.


In addition to considering these in isolation, the Directors also consider the cumulative impact of different combinations of scenarios, including those that individually have the highest impact and those that are most heavily interconnected with SSE's other Principal Risks.


Upon the basis of the analysis undertaken, the Directors have a reasonable expectation that the Group will be able to continue to meet its liabilities as they fall due in the period to 31 March 2020.


Long Term Climate Change Risk Exposure


In response to the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and out with the scope of the Viability  Assessment, a number of scenarios have been assessed to consider SSE's long-term resilience to carbon reductions that would be required to prevent global average temperatures rising by 1.5 °C or 2 °C. Further detail is disclosed in SSE's Sustainability Report.


Section 2 - Directors' Responsibility Statement: The following information is extracted from page 100 of the 2017 Annual Report and Accounts


Statement of Directors' responsibilities in respect of the Annual Report and the Financial Statements


The Directors are responsible for preparing the Annual Report and the group and parent company financial statements in accordance with applicable law and regulations.


Company law requires the Directors to prepare group and parent company financial statements for each financial year. Under that law they are required to prepare the group financial statements in accordance with IFRSs as adopted by the EU and applicable law and have elected to prepare the parent company financial statements in accordance with UK Accounting Standards, including FRS 101 Reduced Disclosure Framework.


Under company law the Directors must not approve the financial statements unless they are satisfied that they give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the group and parent company and of their profit or loss for that period. In preparing each of the group and parent company financial statements, the directors are required to:

·     select suitable accounting policies and then apply them consistently;

·     make judgements and estimates that are reasonable and prudent;

·     for the group financial statements, state whether they have been prepared in accordance with IFRSs as adopted by the EU;

·     for the parent company financial statements, state whether applicable UK Accounting Standards have been followed, subject to any material departures disclosed and explained in the parent company financial statements; and

·     prepare the financial statements on the going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the group and the parent company will continue in business.


The Directors are responsible for keeping adequate accounting records that are sufficient to show and explain the parent company's transactions and disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the parent company and enable them to ensure that its financial statements comply with the Companies Act 2006. They have general responsibility for taking such steps as are reasonably open to them to safeguard the assets of the group and to prevent and detect fraud and other irregularities.


Under applicable law and regulations, the directors are also responsible for preparing a Strategic Report, Directors' Report, Directors' Remuneration Report and Corporate Governance Statement that complies with that law and those regulations.


The Directors are responsible for the maintenance and integrity of the corporate and financial information included on the company's website. Legislation in the UK governing the preparation and dissemination of financial statements may differ from legislation in other jurisdictions.


Responsibility statement of the directors in respect of the annual financial report


We confirm that to the best of our knowledge:

·     the financial statements, prepared in accordance with the applicable set of accounting standards, give a true and fair view of the assets, liabilities, financial position and profit or loss of the company and the undertakings included in the consolidation taken as a whole; and

·     the strategic report includes a fair review of the development and performance of the business and the position of the issuer and the undertakings included in the consolidation taken as a whole, together with a description of the principal risks and uncertainties that they face.


We consider the annual report and accounts, taken as a whole, is fair, balanced and understandable and provides the information necessary for shareholders to assess the group's position and performance, business model and strategy.


Alistair Phillips-Davies                                  Gregor Alexander

Chief Executive                                                                Finance Director

16 May 2017


Section 3 - Related Party Transactions: The following information is extracted from Accompanying Information A.5 on page 176 of the 2017 Annual Report and Accounts.  A condensed version of this extract was published as Note 16 in the Preliminary Results Statement for the year ended 31 March 2017.


A5. Related party transactions

The immediate parent and ultimate controlling party of the Group is SSE plc (incorporated in Scotland). Balances and transactions between the Company and its subsidiaries, which are related parties of the Company, have been eliminated on consolidation and are not disclosed in this note. Details of transactions between the Group and other related parties are disclosed below.


Trading transactions

The following transactions took place during the year between the Group and entities which are related to the Group but which are not members of the Group. Related parties are defined as those in which the Group has control, joint control or significant influence over.




Sale of goods and services

Purchase of goods

and services


owed from


owed to

Sale of goods and services

Purchase of goods

and services


owed from




Joint ventures









Seabank Power Ltd









Marchwood Power Ltd









Scotia Gas Networks Ltd









Clyde Windfarm (Scotland) Ltd









Other Joint Ventures



















The transactions with Seabank Power Limited and Marchwood Power Limited relate to the contracts for the provision of energy or the tolling of energy under power purchase arrangements. Scotia Gas Networks Limited has operated the gas distribution networks in Scotland and the South of England from 1 June 2005. The Group's gas supply activity incurs gas distribution charges while the Group also provides services to Scotia Gas Networks in the form of a management service agreement for corporate services, stock procurement services and the provision of the capital expenditure on the development of front office management information systems.


The amounts outstanding are trading balances, are unsecured and will be settled in cash. No guarantees have been given or received. No provisions have been made for doubtful debts in respect of the amounts owed by related parties. Aggregate capital loans to joint ventures and associates are shown in Note 16.


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