Notable - Positives and Negatives
from 100 Reports 

AR on AR 2019  |  Report ratings  |  Positives and negatives  |  Rating panelists  |  Panelists' favorites  |  Best Reporting practices  |  Evaluation criteria

X5 Retail

+ Well-charted review of operations.

- What's the meaning of the front cover?

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Screenshot of X5 Annual report

Screenshot from X5 Retail's annual report 2018


+ Board Skills and Experience – Key Questions about remuneration.

Wolters Kluwer

- Reporting as a compliance exercise more than a communication piece.


+ Building for People to read about the Value Proposition and Creation, Strategy and Targets. Solid facts and sleek presentation.


+ Solid sustainability targets, substantiated with a commitment and implementation facts.

- PDF layout is a letdown.


+ A truckload of facts and figures reported thoroughly and intelligibly.

- Sustainability goals not clearest.

Screenshot from Volvo's annual report

Screenshot from Volvo's annual report 2018

Vestas Wind Systems

+ No windy talk here. Check e.g. Environmental impact, revenue recognition, impact of joint ventures...


+ Well-illustrated Business Model and well-balanced KPIs.


+ There is some food inside, to be sure...

- ... But a refreshing change is needed to make the PDF less indigestible.


+ Our business model, What we do, capitals, Strategy and resource allocation, risks... presented with great clarity and many details.


+ Corporate Risk Map for 2018 is very comprehensive.


+ This is Our Portrait cover consistent with inside theme and contents. Performance Forecasts.


+A benchmark in operating and financial reporting that also deals smartly with sustainability issues.

Tate & Lyle

+ Strong governance culture demonstrated in Board's presentation, responsibilities, activities, internal control system, committee reports.

Tata Steel

+ Very comprehensive Business Model - rich in figures too.

- Length is a letdown.


+ Value Creation Model, Management Bases, Examples of Group Businesses.


+ Excellent review of assets, strategic insights (including a SWOT), KPI selection.

Screenshot from Telus' annual report 2018

Screenshot from Telus' annual report 2018


+ Factors influencing the business model of construction. How we measure our strategy's success.

- What is New Now?

ST Engineering

+ Risk & Sustainability Highlights.


+ A digital report that has the right chemistry.

- Although informative, the PDF is more conventional.

Smith & Nephew

+ Thorough approach to risk: team, risk management life cycle and next year plan, impact...


+ Objectives and results to the point. Clear overview of How SKF creates value.

Screenshot from Strabag's annual report 2018

Screenshot from Strabag's annual report 2018

Shell (Royal Dutch Shell)

+ A digital format makes up (at least partly)...

- ... For a long tiring 20-Fish PDF.


+ An interesting read, also thanks to a leaning towards a magazine rather than a conventional report. Check Materiality Matrix, too.

Severn Trent

- This report highlights the progress… in achieving that vision through our strategic objectives and … focus on delivering value for all of our stakeholders. Read this elsewhere, haven’t you?


+ CFO's strategic review on value targets, with financial framework and value through disciplined capital allocation.


+ Comprehensive financial and sustainability report (Non-financial results clarify the position as regards all SDGs).

- Heavy and uninspiring Registration Document.


+ High-flying Corporate Governance chapter (also re. board key matters, focus, audit committee et al.).


- The Annual Report is short -too short. The Registration Document is way too long.


- Underlying, adjusted, constant currency, restated items may not always give the most accurate picture.

Screenshot from Shell's annual report 2018

Screenshot from Shell's annual report 2018


+ Easy-to-navigate online review. Understanding the External Environment.

Pernod Ricard

+ Does it go the extra mile? Delivers better as a storyteller and photographer than as a reporter.


- Poor efforts on disclosure and CSR.


+ Why ROIC? Embracing ROIC Management. ROIC Management Builds True Earnings Power.


+ Shareholder Returns highlight historical Share Buybacks as much as Annual Dividends.

Novo Nordisk

+ In-depth Outlook 2019.


+ Product category and operating segment review as strengths, as well as commitments in SDG areas.

- Value-creating strategy not always most explicit.

MVV Energie

+ A smart and energetic My world. My energy magazine supplements the thorough combined annual report.


+ Outside Directors and Outside Audit & Supervisory Board Members + Selection Criteria.


+ Our customer-centric approach sets forth Market- and customer-specific sales and upply chain network.


- We are on the move (cover). This report doesn't transport the reader most convincingly.

M&S (Marks & Spencer)

+ Upfront about challenges.

- Nonfinancial reporting is sketchier.

Screenshot from Pfizer's annual report 2018


+ Extensive use of charts and maps.


+ Striving for the right combination of HTML and PDF reporting -yet not fully optimized.

Lindt & Sprüngli

+ Not short on Research and development, i.e. more than a chocolate-box story.

- Financials make up a less solid meal.


+ Discover and select your favourite Annual Report themes via a few clicks on the homepage.


+ Substantiated five-year corporate responsibility approach.

Johnson Matthey

+ The chairman is delighted to write for the first time and takes two minutes to reflect on 365 days.


+ Not that common, a Forecast Report quickly downloadable from the digital report homepage.


+ Our Business Model, as Seen… through the Corporate Value Formula, Business Development, in the Value Chain, through a Functional Example.


+ Extensive highlights and key figures.


+ Nice layout for committees' composition and attendance records.

- Dull design and difficult read.


+ Delivers on CSR matters...

- ... For those who can wait until the report is released. Very late, that is.

Screenshot from Lukoil's annual report 2018

Screenshot from Lukoil's annual report 2018


+ Comprehensive Key Figures. Installed capacity… by country and technology. Well-defined Business Model.

- Hefty 400-plus-page Sustainability Report.

Hugo Boss

- Not most suitably dressed for reporting.


+ This 100% Holmen-produced report is succinct and to the point.

Screenshot from Iberdrola's annual report

Screenshot from Iberdrola's annual report


+ Comprehensive, transparent on segments and risks, supported effectively.


+ Classy design and rich content.

- Who really reads a 400-page annual report?

GSK (GlaxoSmithKline)

+ Financial review and governance up to expectations.

- Far from most reader-friendly. Too short on KPIs, ESG and risk management.


+ No-fuss and easy-to-grasp with an integrated sustainability framework.

- Branding lags behind.


+ How we create value video in the online report.

General Mills

+ Interesting Global Responsibility report.

- Uninteresting 10-K Annual Report.

General Electric

+ The letter from the new CEO is worth reading.

- The whole report isn’t electrifying (another churned-out 10-K).


+ Roundtable Discussion with External Directors. Corporate Governance That Brings Out Fujitsu's True Value.


+ Energizing Financial & Operating Review made up of solid fuel.


+ Straightforward Letter to Stakeholders.

- KPI reporting not up to expectations.


+ Helpful segment reporting.

- Theme a bit confusing.


+ Most issues are reviewed with care.

- The long and dry report isn’t a gas.


+ The Annual Reports archive includes reports from 1950 until today.

- "Well positioned to create value" makes a banal report message.


+ Very informative, e.g. about next-generation treatments. to Stakeholders.

- Suffers from information overload.

EDP (Energias de Portugal)

- Energy required to go through about 500 pages.

Dr. Reddy's Laboratories

+ Fine selection of historical ratios.

Screenshot from Heineken's annual report

Deutsche Telekom

+ Looking for a reader-friendly digital report? This is a good example.

- The PDF isn't up to the HTML.

Deutsche Bahn

+ Ambitious and rich in content.

- Some can't see the wood for the trees.

Daiwa House

+ Basic Strategy for Capital Policy to support CFO message.


+ The power of C has informative content...

- ... But is sometimes cryptic and not always convincing.


+ Finally a Business & Sustainability Report refreshingly different from previous contents.

- Another unpalatable 10-K, and sustainability still years away from best practice.

Screenshot from Deutsche Telekom's annual report

Screenshot from Deutsche Telekom's annual report


+ Why Board Diversity is Important to CLP, among other strengths in putting governance matters in plain language.


+ A wealth of Key sustainability indicators.


+ Financing costs, capital structure and equity (including liquidity, of course) explained very clearly in notes to statements.

Cairn Energy

+ How We Manage Risk thoroughly addresses principal risks associated with strategic objectives.


+ Measuring our progress.

- Heavy fuel: a 326-page AR. Obviously, the 80-page SR is much lighter.


+ Dashboard of... Group's CSR approach. Overall contents up to it.


+ Details about the Production Network. Glossary. Index (also for graphs).

- Lackluster printed report.


+ Detailed Risk and opportunity report. Sustainability Report is worthy of note too.


+ All graphics at a glance display more than sixty charts in a user-friendly online report.

- Information overkill. Complicated sustainability approach.


+ The Magazine part enlightens about the metal portfolio -old and new.


- A Magazine about electric mobility, digital business, China, and responsibility. How original!


+ Comprehensive Therapy Area Review and Financial Review.

- Report design pedestrian and not super-duper.

Astellas Pharma

+ Research and Development and Manufacturing to Sales and Procurement sections.

Associated British Foods

+ From bread winners to sugar business, from Primark to other ingredients, nice design and read appeal effectively serve reporting purposes.


+ Designed in great magazine style without sacrificing informative content.

Anglogold Ashanti

+ An impressive Annual Report Suite...

- ... That runs over more than 700 pages in total.


- Progress? The overall design looks very much like thousands of annuals churned out by many British agencies these last thirty years.

Ahold Delhaize

+ An online reporting hub that goes to the point.


+ Committed to investment-grade credit rating, Exploit buy-and-build M&A opportunities, Return excess cash to shareholders as finish lines to CEO review. Mmm.

- Committed to investment-grade credit rating, Exploit buy-and-build M&A opportunities, Return excess cash to shareholders as finish lines to CEO review. Mmm.

Adaro Energy

- CSR reporting neither up to best practice nor to expectations from such a large mining group.


+ Rich contents and solid structure.


+ The Annual Overview does a great branding job.

- Getting access to reporting documents is far from easy.

Screenshot from CLP'sannual report

Screenshot from CLP's annual report