SCOTTISH Hydroelectric owner SSE has lost another 160,000 customers amid competition from newer players in the energy market.

The Perth-based giant said the total number of customers for gas and electricity in the GB household market fell to 5,880,000 at December 31 from 6,040,000 at the end of the preceding quarter.

The company also warned annual profits would be lower than expected after the EU ruled in November a UK Government scheme to support generators was unlawful.