By Karen Peattie

GLASGOW-based Smart Metering Systems reported a robust set results for the half year to the end of June with pre-tax profit of £194.5 million for the six months compared to a £1.7m loss for the period last year.

The Glasgow-based business, which installs and manages smart meters on behalf of energy companies, saw underlying profit before taxation for the half year up 98 per cent to £9.1m, from £4.6m in 2019.

Aim-listed Smart Metering Systems declared a 25p per share dividend to be paid in four instalments starting in October with an intention to increase it by 10% per annum until 2024. The company gained on the £290.6m sale of a minority of its meter assets from its I&C portfolio in April.

Alan Foy, chief executive, said that Smart Metering Systems had delivered a “robust financial performance in the face of a highly challenging operating environment” in the first half of 2020, with increases in index-linked annualised recurring revenue (ILARR) and underlying profitability.

He said: “The completion of a disposal of a minority of our I&C meter asset portfolio in April has further underscored the attractive nature of the meter asset class, provided balance sheet strength, and enabled us to substantially increase the FY 2020 dividend.”

Mr Foy noted: “The company’s pipeline of CaRe asset opportunities is making strong progress across a range of asset classes following our agreement with Columbia Threadneedle European Sustainable Infrastructure Fund announced in March, with an initial portfolio identified in grid-scale battery storage.”

Non-essential field work, including planned installations of smart meters suspended from March 24 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, started to resume from early June.

Mr Foy said: “We are well positioned, both financially and operationally, to deliver on our sizeable contracted smart meter order pipeline and move forward with the development of CaRe assets."

In June, the UK Government set out new plans to accelerate smart meter installations.