KUALA LUMPUR (AFX-ASIA) – Tenaga Nasional Bhd said its first quarter to November results turned to a net loss of RM26.4 million from a net profit of RM663.2 million a year earlier after accounting for a foreign exchange loss as well as recognising deferred tax on a provision basis. (US$1=RM3.8).

Both items do not affect the company’s cashflow position, the national utility company said.

Tenaga recorded a first quarter forex loss of RM382.7 million compared to a gain of RM293.5 million a year ago following the strengthening of the Japanese yen, pound sterling and euro against the ringgit.

The company said that a substantial amount of its loan exposure in yen, pound and euro currencies has amortised repayment schedules and is payable within a period of between one and 40 years.

For the year to August 2004, only 2.2% of these loans are due for repayment, Tenaga added.

The deferred tax increased to RM153 million in the first quarter from 114.7 million a year earlier.

Tenaga’s total sales rose 4.6% year-on-year to RM4.24 billion, with electricity sales growing by 5.6% in Peninsular Malaysia.

The moderate increase in sales was in line with the historical trend of slower electricity demand growth usually experienced in the first quarter of each financial year, it said.

The company’s pretax profit declined to RM136.8 million from RM798.2 million while operating profit rose to 859.4 million from 790.1 million. Tenaga said it expects its full year performance to remain satisfactory.