Annual reports go unread

Most people reading the annual reports only look at the remuneration page –
with a staggering 90% of annual report pages going unread.

The statistics were revealed by
Granby Oil & Gas finance
director Nigel Burton, who was speaking during a roundtable on stewardship.

Burton was formerly FD of a company running the Financial Times Annual Report
Service. ‘The most visited pages in most company reports were simply the
Directors’ Remuneration Report. Ninety percent of the pages were not used in
four million cases, what’s the point of them?’ Burton said.

‘There was scant attention paid to Note 53 about FRS this, that and the other
adjustments. People don’t look at that stuff,’ Burton added.

The figures were a result of online analysis of what parts of annual reports
people read when they were filed electronically.

The revelations come on the back of reports that Royal Mail is limiting the
number of HSBC annual reports its postmen would carry because at 1.47kg it is so
heavy that anyone carrying an excessive amount risked injuring their back.

Many of the pages in the HSBC
report were devoted to IFRS disclosures.

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