January 30, 2020 / 10:20 AM / 19 days ago

Tokyo Gas cuts FY city gas sales forecast as warmer weather weakens demand

TOKYO, Jan 30 (Reuters) -

* Tokyo Gas Co Ltd cut its full-year sales forecast for city gas by 224 million cubic meters to 14.07 billion cubic meters, as warmer weather late last year weakened household demand and industrial demand from some major customers also fell.

* “Higher temprature in January may dent household gas demand in the January-March quarter, but we have not discounted such possibility into our annual guidance as we don’t know about weather in February and March,” Hirofumi Sato, general manager of financial management department at Tokyo Gas, said in an earnings news conference.

* Japan’s biggest supplier of city gas also booked a 9.9 billion yen ($90 million) loss on the Ichthys Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project in Australia, including an impairment loss of 8 billion yen, in the April-December period to reflect lower-than-expected oil prices. Tokyo Gas owns 1.575% stake in the Ichthys project, which is operated by Japan’s Inpex Corp .

* Tokyo Gas, which has no offices in China, has banned business trips to the country in the wake of a coronavirus outbreak. Sato said previous virus outbreaks have had only a limited impact on the company.

* Faced with falling spot LNG prices in Asia, Tokyo Gas is making efforts to trim LNG procurement costs through swapping supplies with its partners in Europe and selling contracted supplies to other areas such as Europe.

$1 = 109.7000 yen Reporting by Yuka Obayashi in Tokyo

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