Sunday, February 2, 2014

TEPCO returns to profits on 8.5% higher electricity charges

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 conference.


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