Though I disagree, and have tested this numerous times.
Let’s fix that statement:
Sitemaps dont provide SEO however they DO help the search engines find your pages better and quicker. SEO is the art of getting found in the Search Engines, therefore sitemaps do off er SEO value!
OK, take that a step further and simplify:
Sitemaps help get pages found by search engines = SEO is about getting found! Continue reading Why is Sitemap essential to SEO? (sitmemap.xml)