Electricity rate hikes helped Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, post an ordinary profit of 189 billion yen ($1.84 billion) for the first nine months of fiscal 2013.
The company also forecast a 57-billion-yen profit for fiscal 2013, which ends in March.
With its nuclear plants shut down for safety checks, TEPCO said its fuel costs for thermal power plants totaled 2.07 trillion yen in the April to December period, a year-on-year increase of 75 billion yen and the first time such expenses have exceeded 2 trillion yen.
But rate hikes increased revenue by 220 billion yen. The company also cut repair expenses by 53 billion yen by deferring work and trimmed personnel costs by 19 billion yen by curbing new hiring.
Changes to accounting rules allowed TEPCO to reduce extraordinary losses over the Jan. 31 delisting of the No. 5 and No. 6 reactors at the Fukushima plant to 40 billion yen. Before the industry ministry revised rules for reactor decommissioning last autumn, the company would have had to book 170 billion yen in one-time charges.
The utility was required to show prospects of an ordinary profit for fiscal 2013 to continue to receive funding from creditors.
Under its new rehabilitation plan approved by the government in January, TEPCO plans to secure a profit in fiscal 2014 on the condition that two reactors restart in summer at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture.
Reactivation, however, is far from guaranteed because nuclear regulators are looking into potential active faults beneath the plant.
Niigata Governor Hirohiko Izumida is also opposed to a restart.
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