Tepco pays dearly for disastrous year


Staff Writer

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Monday it posted a ¥781.6 billion group net loss for fiscal 2011 after incurring massive costs from the meltdown disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, compensation for the victims and fuel costs for reverting to thermal power.

The figure dwarfed its ¥1.24 trillion net loss from 2010.

Sales for fiscal 2011, which ended in March, remained fairly even at ¥5.34 trillion, down 0.4 percent from the previous year, but a ¥272.5 billion operating loss reversed the ¥399.6 billion operating profit from the year before as costs soared for thermal power generation.

Although the utility faced a special loss of ¥2.86 trillion mostly from compensation payments, it also received ¥2.42 trillion in support from the state-backed Nuclear Damage Liability Facilitation Fund, offsetting it.

As for fiscal 2012, the utility expects its net loss to shrink to ¥100 billion through radically streamlined operating costs and price hikes for corporate customers and households.

But since Tepco is unlikely to be able to restart any nuclear reactors this year, it will continue to rely on thermal power, facing ballooning fuel costs and making a return to profitability this year unlikely, Tepco President Toshio Nishizawa said at a news conference.

Tepco also approved 11 candidates Monday for its new board of directors, including seven non-Tepco members. Their names will be proposed at its annual shareholders’ meeting June 27.

The candidates include Yoshimitsu Kobayashi, president of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp.; Fumio Sudo, former CEO of JFE Holdings Inc.; and Kimikazu Nomi, CEO of Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, a Tokyo-based semipublic fund.

Thirteen out of the current 16-member board of directors, including Nishizawa and Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, will leave their posts. Lawyer Kazuhiko Shimokobe, who chairs the Nuclear Damage Liability Facilitation Fund, will become chairman, and Naomi Hirose, Tepco’s managing director dealing with redress for disaster victims, will be promoted to president.

“We will literally be restructuring the company by inviting new members from outside who have high levels of expertise (in their fields),” Hirose said.