Sun and SolNet - not over till it's over

Results indicate sharp drop off in earnings once Sun began new partnering programme

Matters between Sun Microsystems and its former New Zealand agent, Solnet, are not closed.

Sun Australia and New Zealand managing director Jim Hassell says a reasonable decision on legal action can’t be made till the liquidator’s final report is available.

Hassell was commenting on Sun’s results for last year, which show a 23% drop in revenue, from $83.7 million in 2003 to $64.3 million, with a loss of $639,103. Bad debt expense was $6.8 million, which Hassell attributes to Solnet.

“When Solnet told us they were insolvent, that automatically cancelled the contract with them,” he says.

A draft report from the liquidator has been available to creditors since late last year. Hassell says he is not sure whether it will vary from the final report. “They [the liquidator] are still doing some investigation.”

Former Solnet managing director Mark Botherway says he is looking forward to the liquidator’s final report, which he doesn’t believe will vary from the draft report.

The bad debt aside, Sun’s results seem to indicate that, if maintenance stayed steady, system sales declined sharply over the period as Sun entered into new partnership arrangements.

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