July 28, 2008

Tokyo Electric Power Bracing for Record Annual Losses

Tokyo, July 28 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Monday that it projects record annual group losses for fiscal 2008 due to surges in fuel prices and costs for procuring electricity from other firms.

For the year to March 2009, the power supplier now expects to report a net loss of 280 billion yen and a recurring loss of 425 billion yen.

President Masataka Shimizu said at a press conference that the losses could be the largest ever since the establishment of the company.

He said it is unclear when the company can resume the operation of its flagship Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture, central Japan. The power station was damaged by a powerful earthquake that hit the prefecture in July last year and has been suspended since then.

Tokyo Electric Power plans to pay 30 yen per share in term-end dividends. Its fiscal 2008 dividends will thus total 60 yen, down 5 yen from the previous year.

Meanwhile, the firm raised its fiscal 2008 group sales projection to 6.05 trillion yen from 5.85 trillion yen. Electricity sales are forecast at 296.2 billion kilowatt-hours.

For the April-September fiscal first half, Tokyo Electric Power now projects a group net loss of 110 billion yen, bigger than the previously estimated loss of 40 billion yen, and a recurring loss of 170 billion yen, wider than 60 billion yen.

Sales are seen totaling 2,845 billion yen, up from 2,835 billion yen.

For the April-June first quarter, Tokyo Electric Power logged a group net loss of 76,239 million yen, against the year-before net profit of 31,068 million yen, and a recurring loss of 116,251 million yen, compared with the 44,619-million- yen profit. Sales grew 5.5 pct to 1,319,446 million yen.

Tokyo Electric Power also said Monday it has reported to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry plans to review its electricity rates to cope with surging crude oil prices.

The company is poised to keep its rates unchanged until the end of this year.

But monthly electricity bills at a standard household in the company's service areas could rise by 800 yen from January 2009 if crude oil prices remain high at the current levels, according to the company.

The 800-yen rise in electricity bills is based on the assumed crude oil price of 130 dollars per barrel.

Shimizu said that the firm would no longer be able to absorb rises in fuel costs if crude oil prices soar to 130 dollars. [EARNINGS]END

(c) 2008 Jiji Press English News Service. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.