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Paris Bourse scrutinises Guillemot accounts

Should have been more cautious

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Guillemot, the French owner of Thrustmaster games peripherals and Hercules graphics boards, will have to revise its fiscal 2001 accounts, following scrutiny by the Paris Bourse.

Nothing life-threatening, it seems - "There was no mistake on our part and no threat of bankruptcy", CFO Christian Guillemot says in an interview with Bloomberg.

But it looks like the company's 2001 profits will be cut, following a different treatment of tax gains from loss making units. The company should have been more cautious and booked less of this as profit, the French stock exchange says.

So operating profits are unchanged, but considering that Guillemot booked a net profit of only EUR 2.5m for fiscal 2001, which ended last August, it looks like it had a less than storming year. The company is to make a more detailed statement tomorrow, when perhaps we can find out just how much tax gains it's talking about.

Still, the games market should pick up this year - good for Thrustmaster products. And the company's new solus retail franchise for ATI high-end graphics boards rebranded as Hercules in Europe - should come in useful for sales.

In the UK, where Hercules is the dominant retail graphics brand (53 per cent share in January, according to Chart Track), Guillemot is stepping up for an assault on the OEM market. Today the company announced the signing of RealTime Distribution to handle the wholesale of Hercules ATI boards and some Thrustmaster products for the UK system builder market. ®

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