Which channel do listed companies use for their annual reporting?

by e.com
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In parallel with the Annual Report on Annual Reports rating and ranking process (to be released on www.reportwatch.net at the end of August), e.com-ReportWatch team has carried out a survey about the use of websites for annual reporting by listed (°) companies.
(°) A few non-listed firms are included.

Feedback and comments welcome! Just drop us an e-mail at e.com@reportwatch.net.


Based on a rather representative sample of 500 companies (mostly large ones and blue chips) from 34 countries, the results are as follows:


With all due caution, the results certainly indicate a trend, also because the list of companies includes a great number of... trendsetters.

  • A majority of companies prefer the PDF format, with some even going back to it after a (few) stint(s) in online reporting. Worth noting: a significant majority of PDF files used don't include interactive facilities, and a majority is only downloadable in full.
  • Almost one-third of annual reports are now provided in an online format. Although this figure is probably higher than five years ago, and in spite of a growing use of mobile devices, one may notice that digital annuals seem to have reached a plateau in some areas or for some corporate communication/investor relations departments. A number of famous companies have dropped their online report. Note that the online option is in most of the cases not online only but includes PDF downloading options in addition.
  • The e-book (also named flipbook et al.) is taken off very slowly.
  • Though very small, there seems to be an increase in reporting in parts, e.g. by displaying an annual report summary on the website and, even more, by publishing additional reports (mainly responsibility and sustainability ones) online only while financials are made in PDF.

PDF: Lufthansa (Germany)

Reporting center for online report: Shell (UK-Netherlands)

Online report: Wärtsilä (Finland)

Online report and summary PDF: Konica Minolta (Japan)

Partial online report: Caterpillar (U.S.)

E-book: Atlas Copco (Sweden)

Feedback and comments welcome! Just drop us an e-mail at e.com@reportwatch.net.

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