SmithsRatings 2011 – in the news

by Stratton Craig

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SmithsRatings provides a comprehensive analysis of FTSE annual reports – you can find out all about it here.

It was great to see a number of our recent clients popping up in the SmithsRatings ‘Best in Class’ lists. In particular, Inchcape and African Barrick Gold received glowing praise:

Inchcape: Online 78, Print =23, Combined =36

  • ‘The company has really made an effort to bring this statutory – and often dull – reporting to life’.
  • ‘…the risk reporting is first class. The governance reporting is outstanding’.

African Barrick Gold: Online n/a, Print 6, Combined 127

  • ‘It is consistently excellent in every section…’
  • ‘This is a first-class annual report’

In this year’s SmithRatings for printed reports, the strongest best practice reporting areas were Risk and People/Employees, with the weakest being Marketplace Reporting. And whilst Corporate Responsibility reporting fared well, there doesn’t seem to be a knock-on effect for Sustainability Reporting, which scored just 7% for overall best practice. We’ve no doubt companies will be fighting to address this in their next reports given the growing discussions around the subject.

And for online reports, Risk Reporting was again the highest rated category. But elsewhere, there are fundamental issues to address next year. Companies need to brush up on reporting company strategy with clearer goals and strategic objectives, and an overview of how they’ll be achieved. Reports also need to focus on the connection between different sections. With different people writing different areas of the report, it’s vital that there is a common theme running throughout, and a consistent and coherent voice.

If you’d like to discuss how we can help improve your next Annual Report, please call 020 7593 4014.

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