Tokyo Electric Power Co. announced Tuesday that its group net profit for the first half of fiscal 2002 dropped 11.9 percent to 155.88 billion yen on a year-on-year basis, due largely to an April cut in electricity charges.

The utility, bludgeoned by a scandal involving damage coverups at its nuclear plants, said its consolidated sales in the April-September period fell 6.7 percent from the same period last year to 2.45 trillion yen.

Group operating profit fell 25.1 percent to 369.16 billion yen.

Tepco officials attributed these figures to an average cut of 7.02 percent in electricity charges, introduced in April. These cuts reportedly hit sales to the tune of 170 billion yen in the half-year period.

The volume of electricity sold remained almost flat from a year ago, at 141 billion kilowatts per hour.

The firm said its mid-year dividend stood at 30 yen per share.

Regarding the negative impact of shutting down its nuclear plants, the firm said it expects to report additional costs of 140 billion yen in the second half of fiscal 2002. It attributed this bleak outlook to the rising cost of fuel for its thermal plants and purchases of electricity from other generators.

Following revelations of document falsification at its nuclear plants, Tepco halted operations at nine plants, with six other plants scheduled to be closed for inspections by the end of March.

For the full year through March, the firm expects to generate a group net profit of 128 billion yen on group revenues of 4.87 trillion yen.

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