100 annuals in brief


An A to Z list of reports with strengths and weaknesses, hits and misses, and pros and cons as viewed by e.com report analysts and the ReportWatch rating panel members. Some comments have been edited or merged and do not necessarily reflect the final report rating for the report as a whole.


ABBOTT ABBOTT (U.S. - No. 323)
The business purpose is made lively in the narrative. A pity that the Financial Review comes a bit as a postscript after the notes.
ACCOR ACCOR (France - No. 206)
The Business Review is too short, the Registration Document is too long.
AIR FRANCE-KLM AIR FRANCE-KLM (France - No. 155)
This is not an annual report but a document of the future. Perhaps not fully up to that promise but a pleasant read nevertheless.
AKZONOBEL AKZONOBEL (Netherlands - No. 1)
Extremely well integrated report that strikes a very good balance between economic, financial, social and environmental performance reviews. Readers from most if not all stakeholder audiences have the impression that management really understands what is important to measure, manage... and report. It tells clearly where and how value is created, what strategy is focusing on, and how sustainability is implemented and assessed. All those aspects are conveyed via a reader-friendly digital format and/or a solid -yet not light- book version. Nothing's perfect and a few downsides remain of course, but the company deserves its top ranking for having sustained -and kept on improving- the reporting practice over the years.
ALCOA ALCOA (U.S. - N/R)
Metal fatigue? The case for splitting up the company isn't made most convincing.
ALFA LAVAL ALFA LAVAL (Sweden - No. 18)
A strong offering, yet not surprising for those used to it. Plus points include benchmark values, objectives, policies and processes for managing capital; risks (e.g. Maturity structure details).
ANDRITZ ANDRITZ (Austria - No. 126)
A report that tells stories and answers questions a straight way -literally.
ASPEN Pharmacare ASPEN Pharmacare (South Africa - No. 35)
Business model and company's capitals made clear; strategic objectives, material sustainability and related KPIs well defined. Thorough 11-year review too.
ASTRAZENECA ASTRAZENECA (UK - No. 22)
Life-cycle of a medicine, marketplace, strategic priorities, performance indicators reported very clearly. Governance certainly stands among best practices. Financial analysis and risk discussion aren't really up to what is expected in the industry. Helpful index and glossary.
BASHNEFT BASHNEFT (Russia - No. 53)
An outstanding presentation of KPIs, their pyramid, monitoring process, and their use as incentive and management tool.
BMW BMW (Germany - No. 397)
Does BMW stand for Boring Motoren Werke? From the cover on, the whole report is as dull as dishwater, not least in its administrative introduction.
BONDUELLE BONDUELLE (France - No. 376)
A bit heavy to digest, but reports thoroughly on social and environmental matters, e.g. on the use of non-renewable resources, product transport, manufacturing process. However, the sustainability strategy appears as divorced from corporate objectives. And a somewhat lopsided data presentation undermines efforts to make it out fully convincing.
CARLSBERG CARLSBERG (Denmark - No. 115)
Lacks sparkle -for starters with a terrible cover- but business, results, markets are shown in less time than a gulp. Not evasive about last and next year risks.
CASCADES CASCADES (Canada - No. 186)
Doesn't paper over and comes up with a sound piece of MD&A (e.g. sales and costs drivers, sensitivity, change and variance analysis, net debt reconciliation...).
COCA-COLA COCA-COLA (U.S. - N/R)
A Journey Forward that seems to go back in time. And how do stakeholders digest the unpalatable 10-K?
CONTINENTAL CONTINENTAL (Germany - No. 208)
Horizons of Digitalization: how tired as a report theme these days. Inside? Not bad but strictly conventional, both content- and design-wise.
COSMO Oil COSMO Oil (Japan - No. 244)
What sets Cosmo Oil apart? makes up a fine introduction. The president's interview is highly readable, straight and well backed. Note also a highly charted Facts and Figures chapter at the end.
DAIICHI SANKYO DAIICHI SANKYO (Japan - No. 192)
A Value Report that departs from the usual reporting sequence and delivers on some major aspects (CEO message, business model, sustainability). On the whole, despite being heavy on words and light on key indicators, it makes a rather strong case that the company is really managed in an integrated way.
DENTSU DENTSU (Japan - No. 276)
Why doesn't the world's third largest media agency group brand and communicate its report more compellingly? A missed opportunity because content is sometimes rich, also on financials, and often ahead of major rivals.
DEUTSCHE BAHN DEUTSCHE BAHN (Germany - No. 26)
An integrated exercise that is solid (see e.g. performance analysis) yet heavy going in its printed version. But the online report is finely going mobile.
DIMO (Diesel & Motor Engineering) DIMO (Diesel & Motor Engineering) (Sri Lanka - No. 143)
The layout is attractive -albeit modest- and the content is authentic and genuine -with a lot of good thinking put into it. Magnetic power of charts carefully crafted e.g. to show Value Creation, the Capitals Report, and various Impacts.
DR. REDDY'S Laboratories DR. REDDY'S Laboratories (India - No. 320)
Message conveyed with consistency and a real commitment to readability.
DSM DSM (Netherlands - No. 122)
Contrary to many, the book is not overly promotional, a good amount of detail and challenges are addressed head on. Sustainability seems to be embedded in strategy and not only as a philanthropic afterthought. A number of weaknesses, though, such as a vague value creation diagram.
DUPONT DUPONT (U.S. - N/R)
How can such big corporations be so short on substance in their reporting practice? The Review is 8 pages long, a so- called Sustainability Progress Report is 16 pages long, and the 10-K is of course illegible.
EDP (Energias de Portugal) EDP (Energias de Portugal) (Portugal - No. 156)
Contains a lot of good governance information and a lot of detailed operational and environmental data. Certainly not a bad report but should it run over 440 pages to deliver?
EISAI EISAI (Japan - No. 132)
Good description of capitals' management, e.g. towards a Recycling-Oriented Society and regarding Long-Term ROE Management.
ENI ENI (Italy - No. 222)
Visually, this would be an outstanding annual report if it were 1996. Wordy is putting it mildly and, yet, not much information is actually being conveyed. The design and graphics are clearly afterthoughts. However, the Business model and Connectivity of performances are mapped intelligibly.
ENTERGY ENTERGY (U.S. - No. 157)
One of those rare companies, especially but not only in the U.S., whose report delivers by not serving the same recipe year after year or by just aligning with others. KPIs alone make this a strong annual report. And while not free of flaws, it's directionally spot on as to how more companies should be communicating.
EVONIK Industries EVONIK Industries (Germany - No. 54)
Message smartly conveyed. The online report is made simple yet effective and readable. Helpful glossary also included.
FAST RETAILING FAST RETAILING (Japan - No. 191)
Stylish, engaging and catchy, perhaps a bit self-indulgent. Honest about problems, which strengthens management credibility. Still, for a company that claims it will revolutionize the industry, a more dynamic annual report interface would be welcome.
FEDEX FEDEX (U.S. - N/R)
The online version isn't as friendly as it looks (a bit confusing when embedded within the main site). And the print doesn't carry away.
FORTUM FORTUM (Finland - No. 46)
Smart interactive site that is both eye-catching and intuitive. Content architecture is logical and well thought out. A regret: doesn't go deep enough into the how, e.g. about achieving goals.
FUJIFILM FUJIFILM (Japan - N/R)
Surprisingly stripped-down online report -especially when considering the business- whose purpose is to link to more detailed PDF information (in a short book).
GENERAL ELECTRIC GENERAL ELECTRIC (U.S. - No. 30)
Web-based reporting access is a bit complicated, which probably makes some readers unable to see the forest for the trees. A shame because it's rich in information, not least with rock-solid and extremely well-introduced financials.
GENERAL MILLS GENERAL MILLS (U.S. - No. 63)
A fruitful attempt to mix online and PDF, yet some complain about a clumsy platform and bloated design. Also goes a bit beyond the run-of-the-mill 10-K. Check Material issues across our value chain, a starting point to a more compelling Responsibility report than what a large majority of American companies offer. The rationale within the strategy discussion should be a tutorial to follow.
GENERAL MOTORS GENERAL MOTORS (U.S. - N/R)
The (report) drive has improved but still misses a dashboard and a better engine. And financials just look like an old 10-K model.
HINDUSTAN ZINC HINDUSTAN ZINC (India - N/R)
Fifty and forward, and wearing it well thanks to a lively intro, a decent business review and satisfactory responsibility matters.
HUGO BOSS HUGO BOSS (Germany - No. 242)
Fashion über alles? A lot of imagery before getting down to the profile and strategy in a conventionally dressed reporting exercise.
IHG (InterContinental Hotels) IHG (InterContinental Hotels) (UK - No. 77)
An outstanding job on governance, not least about remuneration and including a not that common extensive auditor's report.
IMMOFINANZ IMMOFINANZ (Austria - N/R)
Good Portfolio Report -and mapping-, informative Financing section. Much lighter on strategy and more pedestrian on design.
INDIAN OIL INDIAN OIL (India - N/R)
An introduction rich in ratios. And that's almost it, due to a dreadful and uninviting DTPish layout.
IPSEN IPSEN (France - No. 226)
Neurology, oncology, endocrinology are serious matters. A French specialty-care company deals with them a fine and lively way -less in the Registration document, though.
JAPAN TOBACCO JAPAN TOBACCO (Japan - No. 170)
A very thoughtful and thorough report, with a structure and format that depart a bit from the traditional Japanese model, and therefore carries the message effectively.
JENOPTIK JENOPTIK (Germany - No. 119)
Comprehensive risk management reporting: system, categories, scoring, process, segment profiles. Detailed forecast, too.
JM JM (Sweden - No. 55)
Rock-solid and well-built made in Sweden piece of reporting, with developments on profitability, risks, etc.
KEMIRA KEMIRA (Finland - No. 161)
Business model, performance and risks introduced effectively. Responsible business practices well explained, linked to core business strategy, and measured; e.g. target for sales from sustainable products, revenue broken down by customer benefit.
KONICA MINOLTA KONICA MINOLTA (Japan - No. 89)
Value Chain, Goals of the Medium-Term Environmental Plan... and Results as well as decrease in CO2 emissions are set out most clearly. Does lots of things right towards accountability, e.g. with real progress reporting (and two materiality matrixes -one for risks and one for opportunities).
LAFARGEHOLCIM LAFARGEHOLCIM (Switzerland - No. 363)
It takes more to reporting than just bricks and mortar. This first post-merger exercise doesn't give a big thrill.
LIXIL LIXIL (Japan - No. 91)
A Vanguard theme that holds water in a well-built and nicely designed piece. Catching up on governance, too.
METRO METRO (Germany - No. 159)
Heavy going and conservative in its structure, but a well-organized management report. The digital version makes it a bit lighter than the 324-page PDF.
MICHELIN MICHELIN (France - No. 68)
Thanks to its dynamic drive and contents, the Annual and Sustainable Development Report certainly wins some readers, even though sustainability commitments and implementation aren't always up to displayed components. The hefty Registration Document isn't made too tiring.
MITSUBISHI TANABE Pharma MITSUBISHI TANABE Pharma (Japan - No. 194)
A sober and clean layout makes it a pleasant read e.g. to learn about the pipeline of product development.
MOL MOL (Hungary - No. 205)
Nicely done book with content and artwork made much more inviting than the PDF format that delivers them. Good tone throughout makes the reader come away with a strong sense of the character of the organization, yet too light on measurable goals and metrics.
MVV ENERGIE MVV ENERGIE (Germany - No. 117)
Well-defined path to tomorrow's energy system, risk factors, business performance and outlook. Otherwise, archetypal German style and structure.
NEWELL RUBBERMAID NEWELL RUBBERMAID (U.S. - No. 393)
The branding exercise is working, also through a Q&A with the Chief Development Officer.
NOVAGOLD NOVAGOLD (Canada - N/R)
A Q&A approach that is worth considering.
NOVOZYMES NOVOZYMES (Denmark - No. 20)
The big picture is shot without delay. Market trends and drivers are to the point. It explains quickly how value is created and distributed. Notes to statements are clean. And the online format does a good job. Integrated thinking and management are evident all across and substantiated with relevant environmental and social data.
OMRON OMRON (Japan - No. 200)
A very good overview of model and products, as well as a detailed review of businesses. A number of non-financial data are included, too, although what stakeholders value isn't always clear.
POSTNL POSTNL (Netherlands - No. 335)
A very good example of a rather concise, credible, connected integrated report. Let's point out remarkable candor (e.g. regarding outplacement for employees as jobs are cut) and thorough CR statements (including non-financial restatements). Also among the rare annuals featuring a SWOT analysis.
POTASHCORP POTASHCORP (Canada - No. 5)
An Integrated Reporting Center opens gates to surfer-friendly online reporting (including a section for Graphs) and comprehensive contents.
PROCTER & GAMBLE PROCTER & GAMBLE (U.S. - N/R)
For a company that claims to be more of this and better than that, it could offer more than a ten-page advertorial and make it better than the poorly itemized home-care 10-K that follows.
PROSIEBENSAT.1 PROSIEBENSAT.1 (Germany - No. 51)
A good example of style meeting substance. A highly dynamic video-based online report intro -but there's much more than meets the eye: check e.g. the quick link to CEO's message and its outstanding clarity on screen. Rich content is up to it -yet a bit long at 300-plus pages: check e.g. forecasts set forth immediately, a good combined management report et al.
PROXIMUS PROXIMUS (Belgium - No. 387)
Neither the web design, the structure nor an intrusive cookies policy and quite fuzzy key figures really enhance user experience. If it's any consolation, the reader may find a good collection of stories.
PSA PSA (France - No. 388)
Not the most compact reporting vehicle: the official report and the CSR one total 600 pages. Finding one's way through digital items isn't easiest.
REE (Red Electrica de Espana) REE (Red Electrica de Espana) (Spain - No. 210)
A user-friendly Corporate Responsibility Report that departs from the traditional pattern. While the strategy has some well- reported integrated components, targets used to measure and manage its implementation are only financial.
RIO TINTO RIO TINTO (Australia-UK - N/R)
Readers have to dig deep to go beyond partial highlights (underlying etc.), poorly legible overview and letters. Risk matters are a bit clearer, though.
ROLLS-ROYCE ROLLS-ROYCE (UK - No. 90)
Market reviews set forth market dynamics, competition, business risks, opportunities, and aptly named key differentiators.
ROSTELECOM ROSTELECOM (Russia - No. 78)
Another Russian report making an outstanding use of graphs (look at the way the business model is displayed, for example).
SABMILLER SABMILLER (UK - No. 108)
For its last annuals, the brew was up to previous servings, but sobriety was required to decode actual performance highlights. Governance is no drink-driving and anyway better than the acquirer's service.
SAINT-GOBAIN SAINT-GOBAIN (France - No. 37)
Highly conceptual and strategically driven reporting exercise. Group's main challenges -and materiality-, market trends, positioning and strategic drivers, integration of sustainability and responsibility, marketing differentiation set forth most clearly. Heavy material, though.
SCA SCA (Sweden - No. 3)
Good use of paper from end to end, packaged in a concise but not overloaded way. Summary intro of use for anyone who isn't familiar with the business, good insights into value and strategy, clear targets, well-displayed businesses and driving forces, list of risks, top-notch share information, detailed on sustainability, with notes to statements put plainly.
SGS SGS (Switzerland - No. 169)
A finely illustrated book depicts (almost) everything from the business model to partnerships, from expertise to community.
SHANKS SHANKS (UK - No. 74)
This solid report doesn't waste breath. Design, diagrams, pictures help convey the operations and business model. Risks and governance aren't disposable either.
SHISEIDO SHISEIDO (Japan - No. 112)
A straightforward way to tell and show how the company change strategy isn't merely cosmetic.
SIEMENS SIEMENS (Germany - N/R)
Where is Ingenuity? Not in this dull book that makes dry reading and doesn't even include a chief executive's message and a real business report.
SIME DARBY SIME DARBY (Malaysia - No. 353)
436 pages make Connecting Opportunities a bit of a tough job. However, the business model is finely introduced and the whole piece is well integrated.
SONY SONY (Japan - N/R)
Sony no longer produces an annual report. The business is about communication, isn't it?
STORA ENSO STORA ENSO (Finland - No. 7)
A report -well, actually a four-book suite- that tells not only about current business but also explains convincingly how it's being transformed towards more sustainable practices. Let's point out the business model which is makes a clear distinction between outputs and impacts and good data.
STRAUMANN STRAUMANN (Switzerland - No. 83)
The cover art alone is far superior and more brand supportive than a lot of annuals in recent years. The graphics and insightful content more than make up for a pedestrian technology platform.
SYNGENTA SYNGENTA (Switzerland - No. 229)
Very good insights into the global pharmaceutical market put business strategy in perspective.
TAKEDA Pharmaceutical TAKEDA Pharmaceutical (Japan - No. 241)
Stands among Japanese pioneers in integrated reporting. A very complete report, which, despite a number of downsides, provides confidence that the board is capable of managing relevant issues.
TATA Steel TATA Steel (India - No. 292)
Intelligible review of how the company is responding to challenges by creating long-term value (business model, risks...). Unfortunately, home-made (?) design conveys the contents in a style dating from thirty years ago.
TM (Telekom Malaysia) TM (Telekom Malaysia) (Malaysia - No. 118)
The message and key matters (e.g. materiality, controls) are conveyed through smart design. A pity that length (more than 400 pages) is a let-down.
TORAY TORAY (Japan - No. 109)
An introduction that shows how Advanced Materials Generate Future Industry, thorough Highlights, and a solidly supported message to Stockholders and Investors.
TRANSCONTAINER TRANSCONTAINER (Russia - No. 72)
Strategy, business model and markets made clearest. Plus a high level of transparency over governance practices (board effectiveness, committees' activities, etc.).
TUI TUI (Germany - No. 107)
Well constructed, well written, well designed and executed. Solid on risk impact, too. Though at 400 pages this is a heavyweight that doesn't travel light.
UMICORE UMICORE (Belgium - No. 114)
Inviting online version, with shortcuts and a 30 second summary. Well-integrated sustainability facts and data.
UNILEVER UNILEVER (Netherlands-UK - No. 69)
Unilever has a simple but clear purpose - to make sustainable living commonplace. Though unevenly, the report is trying to strike a balance between economic and broader performance -and is struggling to market it accordingly. Some useful data and good disclosure here, some contradictions between short- and long-term objectives there.
UPM UPM (Finland - No. 15)
Good and (too?) condensed round-ups of Performance improvement, investment case, direct value creation, Risks and opportunities, customer collaboration...
VINCI VINCI (France - No. 328)
New horizons put in a heavy mode, yet report writers have put some energy in a report construction that helps getting the (over)diversified business across.
VODAFONE VODAFONE (UK - No. 88)
Board and executive committee's presentation, key areas of focus, performance evaluation, committees' reports make up outstanding transparency on governance.
VOLKSWAGEN VOLKSWAGEN (Germany - No. 316)
Volkswagen does not tolerate any breaches of the law or other irregularities. Good to know. The diesel issue (sic) is the name for the huge emissions scandal which is treated mit Falschheit, but, fortunately, one can find more in the loaded 400-plus pages.
WALT DISNEY WALT DISNEY (U.S. - N/R)
Where is the storytelling?
WÄRTSILÄ WÄRTSILÄ (Finland - No. 13)
PDF length, layout and readability aren't up to rich and well-integrated contents -better served by the digital version, though. Thoroughly integrated report -e.g. with product lifecycle issues baked into company mission- and a robust list of social and environmental targets.
WIENERBERGER WIENERBERGER (Austria - No. 9)
Very well constructed and eye-catching piece, doing a nice job to outline company successes. Surprisingly lighter on strategy and target metrics. Excellent data on employees, energy, etc.; and a breakdown of emissions, accidents etc. per product group.
WOODSIDE WOODSIDE (Australia - No. 291)
Besides the resilience platitude the read isn't always a gas but OFR highlights, financial position overview and strategy and outlook are set forth most plainly.
XEROX XEROX (U.S. - N/R)
Is the case for a separation into two companies convincingly argued? Mmm.
YAMAHA YAMAHA (Japan - No. 400)
Some of the report scales are well practiced and tuned up, e.g. an upbeat President's message.