Sybase rocked by Japanese revenue overstatement

Sybase has been embarrassed by the discovery that a division overstated revenues, causing it to postpone the release of its October-December fourth quarter and year-end results until January 28. The impact will be $60-65 million on revenues for the year of about $1 billion.

Sybase has been embarrassed by the discovery that a division overstated revenues, causing it to postpone the release of its October-December fourth quarter and year-end results until January 28. The impact will be $60-65 million on revenues for the year of about $1 billion.

The server database company said that in the course of its audit it had discovered "improper revenue recognition" relating to its Japanese subsidiary. Staff responsible - the Sybase Japan president and four senior executives - have either resigned or been made redundant by the firm.

Sybase said it will also need to restate revenues for the previous three quarters and added that fourth quarter loss will now be worse than it warned of in a January 2 statement.

"We have had a reputation as being very conservative in our revenue statements," said Colin Tenwick, vice-president and general manager UK. "The situation in Japan doesn't meet those terms. It's a black eye for the company but it doesn't have a long-term impact on our status."

"We find it highly disturbing that the actions of a few individuals have impacted the achievements and integrity of Sybase employees throughout the world," said Mitchell Kertzman, chairman and CEO. "The incident is completely contrary to Sybase's corporate culture, and behaviour of this sort has not and will not be tolerated by the company. We have taken immediate, aggressive action to resolve this situation, and are committed to the highest standards of ethics, business and accounting conduct."

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