Awards 2003: Business Annual Report

Instead we are treated to a gallery of well-chosen images taken in the nation’s royal parks. This is just one of the pleasant surprises to be found in Accountancy Age’s winning business annual report.

The interesting and sometimes witty snapshots and captions intersperse well laid-out and easy-to-follow information throughout the report.

The financial review provides an excellent overview of the company in a comprehensive manner, but for those looking for an even quicker fix, the company has provided an at-a-glance section right at the beginning of the report that strips down the company’s figures to the bare essentials.

This novel and well laid-out approach was one of the reasons the judges were so impressed by British Land’s entry.

The report uses graphs and tables effectively to illustrate important figures, while the judges were pleased with the factual content of the report.

The sections of the report are separated clearly and effectively, and for those looking for specific information, the contents page also offers a quick reference table to help investors get to where they need to, as quickly as possible.

Corporate governance is dealt with well in the report, but given that Derek Higgs is a non-executive director at British Land, it would have been difficult for the company to overlook this.

Social reporting is an area that the judges considered and is one of the biggest challenges facing companies when preparing reports. British Land lays out its social responsibilities very well in the annual report, but the company went one step further.

A separate environment and social report has been produced, and a full 36 pages are dedicated to the company’s activities in this area.

The level of commitment shown to informing investors of its environmental and social responsibilities certainly left its mark on the judges.

However, it was the main report, with its fresh look and original approach, that the judges reserved the most praise for.

‘It is difficult to be innovative and novel with an annual report without being gimmicky,’ said one of the judges. ‘British Land’s report manages to pass this off with ease.’

‘The report is well laid out with good facts and a nice at-a-glance section,’ said another. ‘It was well presented and the best that was on show.’

The judges admitted that British Land did well to beat off strong competition.

In the end, though, it was agreed that British Land was most definitely a worthy successor to Geest, last year’s winner.


  • Amersham
  • Geest Exel
  • Speedy Hire

Related reading