StockMarketWire.com - Energy utility SSE downgraded its annual earnings forecast due to a delay in receiving government funding.

Adjusted earnings per share for the year through March was now expected to fall 6% to between 64p and 69p.

Previous guidance was for adjusted EPS of 70p and 75p.

The UK capacity market scheme involves the government paying utilities to ensure reliable electricity supply during peak demand.

SSE noted that a judgement on 15 November in the European Court of Justice had the effect of removing the European Commission's State Aid approval of the UK scheme.

It also saw the introduction of a 'standstill period' until the scheme could be approved again.

'The UK government continues to believe that the capacity market is the right mechanism for delivering security of supply at the lowest cost to consumers,' SSE said.

'This should make this income recognition issue a matter of timing only.'

SSE added that its actual adjusted EPS for the year would 'continue to be influenced by the range of factorsl' set out at the start of the financial year. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com