Korea Electric Quarterly Net Misses Estimates on Shutdowns, Won

Korea Electric Power Corp., South Korea’s monopoly distributor, posted a quarterly profit that missed analyst estimates on higher costs from nuclear reactor shutdowns and foreign-exchange losses from a weaker won.

Net income based on controlling interests was 133.3 billion won ($121 million) in the three months ended March 31, compared with a 538.1 billion won loss a year ago, the Seoul-based company said in a filing today. The average of 11 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg was a profit of 531.3 billion won. Sales rose 6.6 percent to 13.8 trillion won.

The shutdown of some nuclear reactors because of scheduled maintenance and technical issues forced a switch to coal and gas-fired plants to meet power demand, the company said. The cost of nuclear-power generation is 3 won per kilowatt compared with 22 won at coal-fired plants and 89 won for gas, according to South Korea’s energy ministry.

Net income also fell because the weaker won led to about 393.2 billion won in foreign-exchange losses related to foreign-currency denominated debt, the state-run company said. The Korean won weakened 4.4 percent to 1,111.35 to the dollar in the first quarter.

The shares fell as much as 2.8 percent to the lowest since April 11 in intraday trading. The local benchmark Kospi stock index declined 1.3 percent as of 1:13 p.m. today.

Operating profit was 657.8 billion won in the three-month period, missing the 1.2 trillion won average of 13 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.