It is now forecasting a record net profit of 405 billion yen ($2.7 billion) for the year to end-March, up 33% from an earlier estimate of 305 billion yen.

"The revision is mainly thanks to lower fuel prices compared to our April forecast," Hironori Kakiguchi, general manager of accounting and finance office, told reporters.

The company lowered its full-year oil price assumption to around $82 a barrel from $85, despite recent volatility in global oil market.

Kansai slightly raised its expected annual nuclear power utilisation rate to around 70%, which it said would add an extra 13 billion yen to an earlier estimate of gains from a higher run rate.

For the half-year, it posted a net profit of 371 billion yen after a loss of 76.4 billion yen in the same period a year ago.

"Cheaper fuel prices, improved nuclear utilisation and firmer electricity prices were behind the strong results," Kakiguchi said.

Kansai's nuclear power utilisation rate in the six months to end-September rose to 78.3% from 33.9% a year earlier, the highest for the period since 2009, or before the Fukushima disaster in 2011.

Kansai Electric, which covers Osaka and its surrounding regions, restarted a 47-year-old reactor at its Takahama plant in September, rebooting its 7th reactor and adding nearly 1 gigawatt of power to further trim gas consumption.

Asked about the impact of the Israel-Hamas war on the company's procurement of liquefied natural gas (LNG), Kakiguchi said fuel procurement has not been affected so far.

"But we must keep a close eye on the Middle East situation as we don't know what kind of ripple effects there may be in the future," he said.

($1 = 149.4300 yen)

(Reporting by Katya Golubkova and Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Edwina Gibbs, Kirsten Donovan)