Kepco braces for ¥125 billion net loss

JIJI

Kansai Electric Power Co. is expecting to log a group net loss of ¥125 billion for April-September, its biggest first-half loss ever, due to a jump in fuel costs for its thermal power plants.

While the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at its Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture resumed operations in July, all of the utility’s nine other reactors remain offline.

As a result, Kepco continues to face higher fuel costs for the thermal plants, which are standing in for the idled reactors, Kepco officials said Thursday.

Fuel costs and expenses for buying electricity from other power companies are expected to rise by some ¥250 billion from the previous year, the officials said.

In the first six months of fiscal 2012, Kepco also expects to suffer a group operating loss of ¥170 billion, on sales projected at ¥1.4 trillion.

In the first half of the previous year, it posted a net profit of ¥20.492 billion and an operating profit of ¥51.17 billion on sales of ¥1.395 trillion.

The proportion of nuclear-generated electricity to the overall power supply will likely come to 10.3 percent in April-September, down sharply from 58.1 percent a year before.

Due to the dismal earnings projections, Kepco plans to skip its interim dividend for the first time since 1980, when it was hurt by the second oil crisis.

In fiscal 2011, Kepco paid a midterm dividend of ¥30 per share.

Hokkaido Electric sees red

SAPPORO
JIJI

Hokkaido Electric Power Co. said Friday it projects a group net loss of ¥47 billion for the April-September first half due chiefly to a rise in fuel costs amid the suspension of its Tomari nuclear power plant.

It expects to report an operating loss of ¥39 billion for the six-month period. Sales are forecast at ¥275 billion.

Due to the poor earnings projections, the firm plans to skip its interim dividend.