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Finance

Tepco's profit may tumble next fiscal year

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Resumption of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant holds the key to Tepco's profit.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- Tokyo Electric Power would make less than 10% of its projected profit for fiscal 2015 if a Niigata Prefecture nuclear power plant is delayed in returning to service.

     The utility told lenders Friday that parent-only pretax profit for year ending March 2016 would come to just 13 billion yen ($108 million) if the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant does not come back online until December. Earlier, the company assumed the plant would be back up and running as early as July, and predicted profit of around 170 billion yen for the year.

     This time around, it implied for the first time a possibility that safety screening delays and other holdups could push back the timeline to the end of the year.

     Tepco presented three scenarios. If the plant resumes in July, the profit would be 199 billion yen; if it returns to service in October, profit would come to 65 billion yen. The longer the plant remains shut, the more costs for purchasing fuel to run conventional plants will add up.

     In fiscal 2014, Tepco is expected to make about 179 billion yen in profit even with the plant idle. Next fiscal year, profit will drop significantly because facility maintenance and other costs that were kept off the books in fiscal 2014 will be logged.

     Tepco plans to spend some 820 billion yen over the next decade to rebuild fossil fuel power plants and invest in overseas projects. It seeks to beef up its earning power by updating equipment, but it will likely face more hurdles raising funds if profit levels do not pass muster with lenders.

(Nikkei)

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