The loss highlights the struggle large buyers such as Japanese utilities face after committing to big volumes which are linked to oil prices.
Asian LNG spot prices dropped to a record low earlier this year and were much lower than oil-linked term prices, due to coronavirus-induced lockdowns affecting demand. They have since recovered to nearly 2-year highs ahead of a colder than expected winter.
Tokyo Gas also booked an impairment loss of 6.4 billion yen on its stake in the Queensland Curtis LNG project in Australia, due to a lowered outlook for oil prices, Hayakawa said.
Still, the company raised its operating profit forecast by 14 billion yen to 87 billion yen for the year to March 31 thanks to stronger-than-expected gas and electricity demand in summer and going forward.
For the April-September half, it booked 51.6 billion yen in operating profit, up 11.9% from a year earlier, as higher electricity sales and cost savings outweighed a 17% drop in city gas sales hit by the pandemic.