Nortel restatements even larger than anticipated

Nortel this week said it completed restatements of US$1.5 billion (AU$1.98 billion) in inappropriately reported revenue for the years ended 2003 and 2004, and the first nine months of 2005.

Nortel also posted its audited results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2005.

Revisions to the company's previously reported 2003 and 2004 financial results reflect negative effects on revenue of US$261 million and US$312 million and on net earnings/loss of US$141 million and US$156 million, respectively. Revisions to the company's previously reported 2005 nine-month results reflect negative effects on revenue of US$520 million and on net earnings/loss of US$164 million in the aggregate.

With respect to financial results prior to 2003, the revisions reflect negative effects on revenue of US$384 million and on net earnings/loss of US$70 million in the aggregate. These revenue adjustments resulted in the deferral to later periods of revenue that was previously recognized in prior periods.

The restated revenue amount is almost US$300 million more than the US$1.2 billion adjustment Nortel warned about last month, and that amount had been raised from the previously reported US$866 million adjustment.

For the fourth quarter of 2005, revenues were US$3 billion, compared to US$2.51 billion for the fourth quarter of 2004. Nortel reported a net loss in the fourth quarter of US$2.30 billion, compared to net earnings of US$102 million in the fourth quarter of 2004.

The fourth-quarter 2005 results included an expense of US$2.5 billion from the proposed settlement of certain shareholder class action litigation. The quarter also included a tax benefit of US$140 million, special charges of US$25 million, and US$11 million of costs related to the sale of businesses and assets.

For the year 2005, revenues were US$10.52 billion, compared to US$9.52 billion for the year 2004. Nortel reported a net loss of US$2.58 billion for the year 2005, compared to a net loss of US$207 million for the year 2004.

The year 2005 results include the US$2.5 billion litigation expense, special charges of US$170 million related to restructuring activities and US$47 million of costs related to the sale of businesses and assets.

As previously announced, Nortel still expects to file its first-quarter 2006 results the week of June 5.

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