Exclusive: China’s Top Power Utility Reports Rare Quarterly Loss
What’s New: State Grid Corp. of China, one of China’s two largest state-owned power utilities, posted a net loss of 920 million yuan ($130 million) for the first quarter, compared with net profit of 15.3 billion yuan a year ago.
It was the first quarterly loss recorded by State Grid in five years and reflected the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which froze up industrial production and economic activity for nearly two months.
Among the company’s 27 provincial subsidiaries, 19 reported losses for the first quarter, an internal document viewed by Caixin showed. The Hubei unit, at the epicenter of the outbreak, booked the heaviest loss of 1.7 billion yuan.
Background: A company source attributed the losses to changes in China’s power tariff policies during the period, which included cutting industrial users’ fee by 5% to support them during the outbreak.
It also reflected the slump in power usage as factories and shops were shuttered for disease control. China’s total power consumption declined 6.5% in the first quarter from a year ago, the lowest first quarter usage since 2018.
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