UPDATE 1-Tepco has almost $10 billion loss after Fukushima
TOKYO May 14 (Reuters) - Tokyo Electric Power Co posted an annual loss of almost $10 billion as compensation claims for the Fukushima nuclear disaster brought it to the brink of bankruptcy and fuel costs soared after idling all its atomic plants.
Japan's biggest utility said on Monday that its net loss for the year to March 31 was 781.6 billion yen ($9.8 billion), above the consensus estimate of a 692.6 billion yen loss in a survey of three analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
That brings the company's losses from the disaster to more than 2 trillion yen after the utility known as Tepco reported a loss of 1.25 trillion in the year-earlier period.
Tepco, whose Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant leaked radiation after it was crippled by a huge earthquake and tsunami in March last year, is set to be taken over by the government in exchange for a 1 trillion yen capital injection.
The public fund injection will bring total government support for the company to at least 3.5 trillion yen since the radiation crisis began.
Tepco, which provides power to almost 45 million people in and around Tokyo, forecast a net loss of 100 billion yen for the year through March 2013, below the average estimate of a loss of 227.7 billion yen in a poll of three analysts.
The utility said in a business turnaround plan that it plans to make itself profitable again in the year to March 2014.
The Fukushima crisis has led to the closure of all of the country's nuclear stations as reactors idled for scheduled maintenance have stayed shut because of safety concerns.
That forced Tepco and other utilities to generate electricity using thermal fuel, sending their costs rising.
Tepco said its annual operating loss was at 272.5 billion yen, more than the mean estimate of a 241.7 billion yen loss by three analysts. ($1 = 79.8800 Japanese yen) (Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Aaron Sheldrick and Ryan Woo)
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