TOKYO, Oct 28 (Reuters) -
* Kansai Electric Power Co Inc said on Monday it would stick to its profit forecast of 140 billion yen ($1.29 billion) for the year to March 31 despite a graft scandal that has rocked Japan’s second-largest utility.
* Kansai Electric admitted last month that 20 company officials had received payments and gifts worth 320 million yen ($2.9 million) from a local government official in Takahama where the company has a nuclear power station, hurting the Japanese public’s trust in nuclear power companies.
* “We have received severe criticism from our customers,” Michiya Sakata, senior general manager at accounting and finance office of Kansai Electric, told an earnings news conference when asked if there had been any impacts on its sales after the scandal.
* He declined to elaborate on any financial effects. “We need to assess any further impact on our nuclear power operations and competitive environment,” he added.
* Kansai Electric’s net profit in April-September rose 55.5% from a year earlier to 113.17 billion yen, marking a first increase in three years, thanks to lower fuel expenses and the absence of an one-off loss related to typhoon damage a year earlier. ($1 = 108.6900 yen) (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Mark Potter)