SEOUL: South Korea’s state-run power monopoly Korea Electric Power Corp (Kepco) unveiled yesterday a record net profit for 2002 of 3.06 trillion won (US$2.56bil) on healthy power demand and foreign exchange gains.
Looking ahead, analysts expect resilient electricity demand to continue to underpin the company's business this year, although less pronounced strength in the won might act as a drag.
The utility giant, which is being privatised under the South Korean government’s broader public sector reform programme, said in a public notice to the Korea Stock Exchange that its 2002 net profit was up 72% from 1.78 trillion won a year earlier.
“The net growth was thanks to an increase in power demand, the stronger Korean won and gains from a stake sale,” Kepco said.
The company’s electricity sales rose 8% over the year due largely to an unusually cold winter, versus 7.6% growth in 2001.
And the stronger won resulted in a reduction in interest costs by as much as 177.7 billion won, it said. A strong won reduces the value of Kepco’s foreign currency debt, which amounts to nearly US$6bil.
Kepco said the sale of its stake in cable network unit Powercomm Co for 262 billion won also contributed to net growth. – Reuters
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