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Kepco sees operating profit surge 33% to W571.6b

Korea Electric Power Corp. (Kepco) (Yonhap)
Korea Electric Power Corp. (Kepco) (Yonhap)
Korea Electric Power Corp. said Friday its operating profit for the first quarter surged 32.8 percent on-year to 571.6 billion won ($505.9 million), while its revenue fell 0.1 percent to 15 trillion won in the same period.

The state-owned, electricity-focused utility said that it saved 192.1 billion won in fuel costs as global fuel prices are staying low due to lack of demand amid the coronavirus outbreak. South Korea is currently almost wholly dependent on fuel imports in producing electricity.

Kepco’s improved profit came in spite of a drop in the electricity price. Starting this year, Kepco has adopted a system of adjusting the electricity fee by plus or minus 3 won per kilowatt-hour depending on the fluctuations of fuel prices in previous months. For this quarter, Kepco had to cut the price by 3 won per kilowatt-hour as fuel prices remained low in the September-November period last year.

Kepco, which also purchases electricity from private power companies and sells it to customers, bought electricity worth 4.9 trillion won in the first quarter, a 179.4 billion won more on-year. However, Kepco compensated for the additional costs by cutting expenses from other areas worth 146.1 billion won.

“Kepco will seek a moderate level of revenue by pursuing efficient management in full force. Also, it will contain the annual price increase per kilowatt-hour of electricity to within 3 percent until 2024,” a company official said.

By Kim Byung-wook (