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Nortel is again delaying posting its accounts. Results for 2003 were due to be released by mid-August - they will not now be ready until October. Figures for the first two quarters of this year will be published at the same time.

The Canadian-based networking equipment vendor blamed the complexity of the number crunching and again said the investigation had not discovered any glaring black holes.

The company also made public how much it is paying ex-submarine commander Bill Owens who took over as CEO in April. He will get $1m a year and is eligible for a bonus of up to $1.7m - assuming the beancounters can work out how much money the company has made and whether he has earnt it.

Owens said:"Notwithstanding the delay in the expected filing of our financial statements, we have made substantial progress to date and continue to dedicate all necessary resources and work closely with our external auditors to complete the financial statements as soon as possible in October."

Nortel said in April that profits for 2003 were likely to be half what it previously claimed. The company is under investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and it is also facing a class action suit from disgruntled shareholders. ®

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