Annual profits at power generator and network operator SSE nearly doubled last year as soaring energy prices led to a boom for its gas-fired power plants.

The Perth-headquartered company has also announced plans to futher increase its record investment in low-carbon electricity even though output from its renewables division suffered from unfavourable weather conditions. The company runs hydroelectric plants and windfarms along with its gas-fired plants, and also runs electricity transmission across the north of Scotland and central southern England.

READ MORE: SSE ups earnings guidance for the second time this year

Adjusted pre-tax profits for the year to the end of March rose to £2.18 billion, up from £1.16bn the year before. Earnings from its gas-fired power plants surged almost four-fold to £1.24bn, compared to 331.1 million previously.

SSE said it allocted £43m in the final quarter of the financial year towards the Energy Generator's Levy, the windfall tax placed on power generators from January in the wake of last year's soaring energy prices.

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It also reported a record £2.8bn investment in low-carbon electricity infrastructure last year, and said it will increase its five-year investment plan by 40 per cent to £18bn, the equivalent of about £10m per day between now and 2027.

SSE will pay its investors a final dividend of 67.7p per share, taking full-year dividends to 96.7p, an increase of 12.8%. To fund investment in its net zero plans, this year’s dividend will be rebased to 60p with annual increases of between 5% and 10% targeted for the next three years.