TOKYO , Jan. 31 -- ( Kyodo ) _ Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Friday reported a group net profit of 772.90 billion yen for the April-December period, amid continuing cost-cutting efforts and electricity rate hikes following the 2011 nuclear crisis at its Fukushima Daiichi complex. The figure compares with a net loss of 2.22 billion yen a year earlier. TEPCO also reported a pretax profit of 189.22 billion yen for the nine-month period, returning to the black for the first time in three years. Group sales increased 10.8 percent to 4.80 trillion yen . The utility projected a consolidated net profit of 661 billion yen for the current business year through March and a pretax profit of 57 billion yen , after taking account of maintenance and other costs incurred at the end of the fiscal year. The operator of the crippled Fukushima plant is trying to turn itself around after receiving an injection of 1 trillion yen in public funds from a state-backed bailout fund in 2012. Under a revamped business plan approved by the government earlier this month, TEPCO was promised more financial support from the state so that it will not face funding difficulties due to the colossal costs stemming from one of the world's worst nuclear disasters.
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