TEPCO operator of the wrecked Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power station, returned to profit in the first nine months of its fiscal year after raising customers’ electricity rates and cutting costs.
Operating profit was 231.3 billion yen ($2.25 billion) in
the nine months ended Dec. 31, compared with an operating loss
of 114.5 billion yen a year earlier, according to a statement
today from the company known as Tepco.
The return to profit was led by increased revenues after
the utility, which serves 29 million customers in the Tokyo
metropolitan area, raised electricity rates for households by
8.5 percent in September 2012. The increase boosted electricity
sales by 9.9 percent to 4.3 trillion yen.
Net income was 772.9 billion yen after a government
injection into the utility’s fund for payouts to people and
companies affected by the Fukushima disaster in March 2011.
Tepco’s operating profit target for the year ending March
is 134 billion yen, compared with an operating loss of 222
billion yen the previous year.
Tepco cut staff and deferred repair work to keep expenses
from ballooning, despite increased fossil fuel purchases to make
up for lost nuclear capacity amid a depreciating Japanese
currency, the utility said. Ordinary expenses rose 1.9 percent
to 4.67 trillion yen, compared with a 12.3 percent increase the previous year.
The company expects to pay a record 2.9 trillion yen for
fuel in the current fiscal year, during which all of its nuclear
reactors were offline for safety checks after the Fukushima
disaster, up from 2.7 trillion yen a year ago, Managing
Executive Officer Katsuyuki Sumiyoshi said today at a press