The Daily Manila Shimbun


5 Japanese power firms pay over ¥90 billion  in dividends after fee hikes

March 19, 2017

Five major Japanese power companies have paid a total of some 90 billion yen in shareholder dividends since raising their electricity fees following the country’s worst nuclear accident in March 2011, Jiji Press learned Saturday.
While the fee hikes lifted their earnings, the five companies have yet to cut their electricity fees.
The five are Kyushu Electric Power Co., Hokkaido Electric Power Co., Tohoku Electric Power Co., Shikoku Electric Power Co.  and Chubu Electric Power Co.. They resumed dividend payments after raising their electricity fees.
The five companies plus Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.  and Kansai Electric Power Co. raised their fees amid financial difficulty stemming from the inability to resume nuclear power generation in the aftermath of the triple reactor meltdown at TEPCO’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
After raising fees, Chubu Electric paid some 37.9 billion yen in dividends by the end of 2016, the largest amount among the five companies.
Following its fee hike in May 2014, Chubu Electric regained its profitability in the year through March 2015 and paid about 7.6 billion yen in dividends for the year.
The company paid some 18.9 billion yen in dividends in the year ended in March 2016 and some 11.4 billion yen in the six months ended in September 2016.
Tohoku Electric paid 29.9 billion yen in dividends, the second largest amount, after raising its fees in September 2013. It returned to profitability in the year ended in March 2014 and paid about 2.5 billion yen for the year.
Both Chubu Electric and Tohoku Electric have been boosting dividend payments.
Shikoku Electric paid some 4.2 billion yen in dividends each in the year ended in March 2015 and the following year.
Kyushu Electric resumed dividends in the year ended in March 2016, paying some 9.5 billion yen.
While raising its fees twice, in September 2013 and November 2014, Hokkaido Electric paid some 4.7 billion yen in dividends in the year ended in March 2016.
Its fees are the highest in Japan.
TEPCO, which faces huge compensation and decommissioning costs related to the nuclear accident, has not resumed dividend payments despite improved earnings.
Kansai Electric has also yet to resume dividend payments due to uncertainty about when it can restore financial health.
Chugoku Electric Power Co., Hokuriku Electric Power Co. and Okinawa Electric Power Co. have not raised their electricity fees after the Fukushima accident.
Defending its decision to resume dividend payments, Hokkaido Electric said that it has presented fee options. Shikoku Electric said that dividend payments are its minimum obligation to its shareholders. (Jiji Press)