Annual Reports Are Short on Detail

Financial News, November 17, 2002 | Go to article overview

Annual Reports Are Short on Detail


Byline: Kit Bingham

Most UK company annual reports are short on detail, according to Merchant, the communications and investor relations consultants.The documents do not reveal a company's investment strategy, fail to mention operational management and do not feature any operating highlights, according to the research.

Only a quarter include achievement-based biographies of their board, and just 6% publish detailed market reports.

This is a woeful failure of communication, says Merchant, given that fund managers and analysts see the annual report as their primary source of information on a company.

Robert Moser, Merchant's managing director, says: "Fund managers say the annual report is the first port of call, even before broker's notes.

"That gets to the heart of what we're trying to do, which is to make the annual report more than just a statutory document and contain what we refer to as the compelling investment proposition."

Even in an age of instant communication, video streaming and online reporting, the annual report plays a vital role in the communications process.

Moser says: "As the place to go to find the core information, the report seems to win hands down. The report is the one place you go where you can get all the information, where you don't have to fish around on an unstructured website."

But most companies continue to see their report as little more than a statutory requirement. …

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