SEOUL, Nov. 12 (Yonhap) — State-run Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) said Thursday its net profit jumped fivefold in the third quarter of the year from a year earlier as costs tumbled on the back of the falling global prices of resources.

Net profit came to 1.25 trillion won (US$1.12 billion) in the July-September period, sharply up from a net profit of 241 billion won posted a year earlier, the company said in its regulatory filing.

Operating profit also surged by a whopping 88.2 percent over the period to reach 2.3 trillion won, the company said.

 Sales, however, edged down 1.3 percent to reach 15.7 trillion won, as the COVID-19 pandemic has weighed down business activities, which led to weak demand for electricity.

Over the January-September period, KEPCO also turned to the black from a net loss of 932 billion won a year earlier.

The company said it was able to save a whopping 3.9 trillion won on the back of the falling global oil prices in the nine-month period.

The long rainy season coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic has also led to weaker-than-expected electricity sales, according to KEPCO.

The operating rate of nuclear reactors came to 73.8 percent in the first nine months of the year, slightly down from last year’s 74.5 percent. South Korea has been making efforts to slowly phase out nuclear energy in sync with the country’s green energy drive.

 As for the fourth quarter, KEPCO said it plans to continue keeping a watchful eye on the economic risks stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, along with currency-related uncertainties.

Shares of KEPCO stood at 20,950 won on the main bourse as of 3:05 p.m., down 1.41 percent from the previous session. The third-quarter earnings were announced during the session.

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