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For the first time in almost ten years, Compagnie Des Machines Bull SA has reported a profit and says it expects it to keep on rising throughout the rest of the year. The French systems manufacturer has reported earnings for the first half of 1997 of $10.3m from losses at the same time last year of $98.7m. The company says that the turn around is largely due to Bull getting rid of its personal computer business, Zenith Data System Corp which merged with Packard Bell Electronics Inc last year (CI No 2,847) and left the company with the equivalent of $93.9m of losses in the first half of 1996. After the first half of the year saw a 4.6% increase in revenue to $1.83bn, Bull says its privatization, which was made possible by capital injections from its industrial shareholders – NEC Corp, Motorola Inc, France Telecom and DNP – further helped its recovery. Bull was also able to increase trade in its with at the end of June when it transferred to the monthly settlement market of the Paris Stock Exchange. The company has managed to reduce its debt by 29.3% to $325.8m, and Bull has said the trend it has seen in the fit half will continue throughout the rest of the year, that section of the hear dealing with a higher volume of business.

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CBR Staff Writer

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