Bull says accounting error rumours are, er, bull

Speeds divestment

French computer maker Bull has denied reports that it found an accounting error which inflated its net cash position by 100 million euros ($93 million).

"Following recent announcements in the press, Bull would like to state that the published results were not caused by an accounting error," the company said.

It went on to add that "during a recent update (in its accounts) some weeks ago, an error was corrected which didn't significantly impact the situation of the company". There were no details on the size of the cock-up.

The statement followed a report in today's The Wall Street Journal that a mistake in Bull's accounts caused the artificial net cash inflation, though it is unclear how this error was spotted or where it originated.

Meanwhile, Bull is looking at offloading its CP8 smart card business sooner than expected. The sale is now tipped to take place in the next two weeks instead of at the end of February, according to the WSJ, and Bull wants to flog the whole lot, instead of keeping a minority stake.

It hopes to sell the CP8 business for more than 500 million euros, though it would be willing to take a lower offer, a source familiar with the situation blabbed.

Last month Bull warned it expected to post a loss of between 100 million euros and 150 million euros for the year 2000. ®

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