Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO), a South Korean state-run utility firm, said Wednesday its third-quarter net profit more than halved from a year earlier on decreased electricity sales.
Net profit for the three months ending Sept. 30 stood at 241.1 billion won (US$ 206.4 million) on a consolidated basis, compared with 737.2 billion won a year ago, the company said in a regulatory filing.
Operating profit for the July-September period was 1.23 trillion won, also down 11.2 percent from a year ago. Sales fell 3 percent to 15.91 trillion won over the cited period.
The operating profit was 24.7 percent lower than the average estimate, according to the survey by Yonhap Infomax, the financial data firm of Yonhap News Agency.
But KEPCO swung to the black from the previous quarter, thanks to a seasonal factor coupled with a drop in fuel prices.
KEPCO said its electricity sales in the third quarter stood at 15.2 trillion won, down 1.9 percent from a year earlier, as people apparently used less electricity due to a cooler summer season.
Sales of residential use-electricity declined 4.9 percent, while industrial-use electricity fell 1.5 percent from a year earlier, according to the company.
Increased repair and maintenance costs also dragged down the bottom line. Such costs increased by 200 billion won compared to a year earlier due to extensive repair and construction work in its power facilities.
KEPCO said the operation rate for its nuclear power plants in the third quarter stood at 65.2 percent, down 8 percentage points from a year ago, due to increased maintenance works.
In the first nine months, KEPCO logged sales of 44.2 trillion won, down 2.7 percent from the previous year, while operating profit fell 46.5 percent on-year to 310.7 billion won.
Shares in KEPCO dropped 0.55 percent to end at 27,250 won on the Seoul bourse. The earnings result was released before the market closed. (Yonhap)