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Nortel to deliver financial update

After months of uncertainty, Nortel plans to release preliminary, unaudited results for the first half of 2004.

Nortel Networks plans next week to provide preliminary financial results for the first and second quarters.

For the past several months, Nortel has been reviewing financial results going back to 2001. On Tuesday, the company said it will release on Aug. 19 estimated, unaudited results for the first half of 2004. It will also issue an update on the effect of its restatements of results for the three prior years. The company also said it expects to file financial statements for 2003 by the end of the third quarter.

Brampton, Ontario-based Nortel has been updating investors on its progress every two weeks, as required by Canadian regulators. The company has said it expects its 2004 sales to grow faster than the telecommunications equipment market in general. But last month, it indicated that it would have to make more cuts to the business in order to improve gross margins.

Nortel's accounting practices came under fire earlier this year, after it was discovered that roughly $900 million in liabilities had been either recorded incorrectly or had not been properly released. The company has examined results for each quarter from 2001 through 2003.

Previously, Nortel said it expected its 2003 net income to be half of what it had previously reported, which was about $732 million. Nortel paid millions in bonuses tied to its 2003 profit. As a result, the discrepancy in the net income has sparked criminal and regulatory investigations. Nortel has already fired its former chief executive and other senior officers.