Japan's TEPCO reports $3.68 billion quarterly net loss

The operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant said Wednesday that it lost $3.68 billion in the latest quarter amid massive costs stemming from last year's atomic crisis.

Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), which was effectively nationalised Tuesday after receiving 1.0 trillion yen ($12.8 billion) of taxpayer money to stay afloat, posted a net loss of 288.4 billion yen in the three months to June.

That compares with a net loss of 571.76 billion yen a year earlier.

The embattled firm, one of the world's biggest utilities, said sales in the latest quarter rose 15.6 percent from a year ago to 1.31 trillion yen.

For the current fiscal year to March 2013, the company said it expected a net loss of 160 billion yen on sales of 5.97 trillion yen, up 11.7 percent.

The latest results come after TEPCO posted a massive 781 billion yen shortfall in the year to March, after it had to increase imports of fossil fuels to make up for a nuclear power shortfall when Japan switched off its nuclear reactors. Only two reactors have since been restarted.

TEPCO is also facing massive compensation claims stemming from the disaster.

Japan was plunged into the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl after TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was hit by a killer tsunami triggered by a huge earthquake on March 11, 2011.

The power station went through meltdowns and explosions, contaminating vast swathes of farmland and forcing tens of thousands of people from their homes.

The clean-up is expected to take decades, with scientists warning that some settlements may have to be abandoned.

The public bailout received Tuesday gives the government a 50.11 percent stake in the utility's voting rights.

And the deal has an option which allows the Nuclear Damage Liability Facilitation Fund to raise the stake up to 75.84 percent to impose stronger control if TEPCO fails to push reforms.

TEPCO shares closed 2.29 percent lower at 128 yen in Tokyo trade on Wednesday, with the earnings released after markets closed.

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