MCI's sales inched up in December, but the bankrupt telco posted a big loss due to auditing fees and restructuring charges.

The Ashburn, Va., phone giant had a net loss of $145 million in December as it took charges of $100 million for restatement adjustments and currency exchanges and $30 million for an inventory writedown. That compares to a net loss of $23 million in November.

Revenue in December was $1.9 billion, up from $1.8 billion in the prior month.

MCI said capital expenditures were $160 million in December, and its cash pile decreased by $100 million to $5.6 billion.

Last week, MCI

filed for a 60-day extension as it makes final preparations to emerge from Chapter 11 protection.

Previously known as WorldCom, the company collapsed in the summer of 2002 under some $11 billion in bookkeeping missteps. WorldCom's demise became the nation's largest-ever bankruptcy case, and prosecutors have been seeking to bring charges against its former top officers.