Nortel finally readies accounts

Light at the end of the tunnel - let's hope it's not a train...

Nortel Networks says it will finally be able to post financial results for 2003 on 10 January next year - after a series of delays.

The company said 11 November it was aiming to provide full accounts within 30 to 60 days - the new deadline just hits this target.

Nortel will update its unaudited results in the week of 13 December.

Nortel admmitted in March that bean counters had found a hole in its accounts. The networking specialist overstated costs for 2001 and 2002 which meant profits for 2003 were unduly high. The problem was made worse because bonuses were paid to executives based on the faulty figures. In April Nortel sacked its CEO, CFO and financial controller for their role in the disaster.

Net earnings for 2003 are now expected to be 28 per cent lower but most of this will be accounted for in previous years so losses in 2002 and 2001 will be reduced. Earnings fell in the first half of 2003 but rose slightly in the second half. Only 18 per cent of 2003 net income reductions will hit continuing operations.

Revenue reductions so far have cut revenues for 1999 and 2000 by $430m and $2.8bn. Remaining revenue adjustments will be deferred for future years.

The firm still has to check in with Stock Exchange regulators every two weeks.

There is a full statement available on Nortel's website here.

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