Nordic corporate reporting improves, but still work to do

8/6/2009, 4:56 PM (Source: GlobeNewswire)
Black Sun's comparative analysis of Annual Report's from the top 50
Nordic companies and the FTSE 100 has concluded that the standard of
corporate reporting has again improved this year, though there are
still areas where many companies need to address the quality of
disclosure.

Among Nordic companies, the demand for better quality narrative
reporting has only recently begun to gather pace due to the impact of
legislative, competitive and economic factors. Consequently we are
seeing a significant range in terms of the caliber of Annual
Reporting relative to the UK, as companies begin to embrace the new
disclosure regime.

This being said the quality of contextual market information provided
by Nordic companies is, on the whole, more informative and relevant
than in UK Reports and this discussion is often supplemented by an
assessment of what impact macro-economic factors may have on
operations in the future. Disclosures around strategy were also
better than in previous years with 76% of companies outlining their
business objectives (up from 68% in 2008).

Despite these improvements, some of the discrepancies between UK and
Nordic reporting which were noted in the 2008 study have resurfaced
again this year, most notably in terms of reporting performance
measures, where Nordic companies adopt a slightly more inconsistent
approach relative to their UK counterparts. In particular, there is a
lack of consistency among Nordic companies in terms of how key
measures are indentified and where in the Report they are located. In
the UK however, the majority of companies use the terminology 'key
performance indicator' and display these measures alongside strategic
objectives. This ensures comparability and provides investors with a
clear sense of how strategy is measured - something which has become
a key issue over the last 12 months or so. In addition, there still
remains a gap between the best and worst reporters from both regions
as companies adopt different approaches to more enhanced disclosure,
though some notable exceptions to this rule include TrygVesta and
Carlsberg who have both looked to embrace the high standards adhered
to by the better Reports within the UK.

Black Sun CEO, David Christopherson comments, "During these
unprecedented times of economic upheaval, many of the assumptions
that have shaped investor decision-making in the past are being
challenged and consequently there are more demands by investors and
other stakeholders about the quality and integrity of information."
He continues, "Companies need to react to this changing environment
and provide their investors with a clear discussion of both long and
short term strategy, in addition to more contextual detail around;
how performance is measured, what risks could impact future results
and how a company is structured to weather the downturn and emerge
stronger as a result."

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For further information please contact:
David Christopherson, CEO: christophersond@blacksunplc.com tel: 0207
736 0011
Claire Waters, Marketing Manager: cwaters@blacksunplc.com tel: 0207
736 0011


Notes to Editors
Black Sun plc is an award winning international corporate reporting
consultancy and communications agency.
It has a unique research and insight driven approach which enables
them to bridge the gap between the legal and regulatory aspects of
corporate reporting and the content and creative elements of
communication.
Black Sun plc delivers 'integrated reporting solutions' that
encompass a powerful combination of best practice advice on strategy,
creative, and multi-channel delivery, through annual reports, CSR
reports, online reports, investor presentations and corporate
websites.

Clients include: BAE Systems, BG Group, Burberry, Carlsberg, DTZ
Holdings, Kazakhmys, Standard Chartered Bank and Tullow Oil

Recent awards include:
BG Group 2008: Thomson Reuters Award for, "Best Annual Report for
Investors"
Legal & General 2008: UK IR Society Award for, "Best practice
communications print and online"
NMLK: 2008 Expert RA for, "Best Annual Report" (Russia) and 2008
Securities Market Journal for, "Best level of information disclosure"
in Annual Reports (Russia)
Tullow Oil: 2008 UK IR Society for, "Most improved Annual Reports"


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