Kansai Electric facing heavy loss

Kyodo

Kansai Electric Power Co. is expected to post a significant group net loss in the business year to March as fossil fuel costs for generating electricity have expanded to cover the plunge in nuclear power, industry sources said Friday.

The net loss would be the first in three years since ¥8.7 billion in fiscal 2008 and the largest since Kepco started releasing consolidated earnings in fiscal 1994.

In fiscal 2010, the utility earned ¥123.1 billion in group net profit on ¥2.77 trillion in sales.

It figures the increases in fossil fuel costs may push down profit by about ¥300 billion.

Kansai Electric’s nuclear plant capacity utilization ratio for fiscal 2011 is expected to fall to 35 percent from the originally planned 80 percent as reactors halted for regular checks have been kept offline due to the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

A fall of 1 percentage point in the ratio is estimated to cause a cost increase of ¥6.6 billion.

Kepco has refrained from releasing earnings estimates for fiscal 2011 as the timing for restarting its reactors remains uncertain.

Electricity sales off again

KYODO

December electricity sales by the 10 regional utilities fell 3.5 percent to 69.35 billion kwh from a year earlier, shrinking for the 10th straight month since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, an industry body said Friday.

Sales to large-lot industrial users were down 3.8 percent from a year earlier, also down for the 10th month in a row. Sales to households slipped 2.6 percent.