” TOKYO (Kyodo) — Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Thursday it turned to the black on a group pretax basis in the April-June quarter for the first time in the four years since the 2011 nuclear crisis at its Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
For the three-month period, TEPCO, which is effectively under state control, reported a consolidated pretax profit of 52.51 billion yen, compared with a loss of 29.49 billion yen a year earlier, due to cost-cutting efforts and an electricity bill hike.
But the company logged a loss of 173.26 billion yen on a net basis, compared with a profit of 437.93 billion yen a year earlier, due to the massive compensation for people affected by the nuclear crisis triggered by the massive earthquake and tsunami.
Its operating profit stood at 70.69 billion yen, against a loss of 23.49 billion yen a year earlier, while sales grew 9.1 percent to 1.57 trillion yen.
TEPCO President Naomi Hirose said at a press conference that the company is still facing difficulties as its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant remains idled and increasing fuel costs for thermal power generation are weighing on its performance.
TEPCO had been seeking to resume operation of the Nos. 6 and 7 reactors at the plant, located in Niigata Prefecture, around July.
The outlook remains highly uncertain as the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s reactor safety screening — a necessary step for reactors to come back online — will take more time.
The utility did not announce an earnings projection for the business year through March 2015, saying it is difficult to forecast when the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant will be able to resume operation.
Fuel costs in the three month period came to 624.9 billion yen on a parent-only basis, down 1.8 percent from a year earlier. ”