It is that time of the year again... for the Annual Report
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So here are some tips for creating a good Annual Report with the most frequently
used French and Dutch terms given in parentheses.
There are nine distinct sections in most Annual Reports. A good report will
usually contain all nine. The following are
the sections, where they are located, and
who is typically responsible. Items 5, 6,
7, 8 are required while 4 is a requirement
of many lenders. Analysts insist on 9.
- Chairman of the Board Letter (Lettre du président du conseil d'administration,
Brief van de voorzitter van de Beheerraad)
Found within the first 5 pages, this should
cover changing developments, goals achieved
(or missed), actions taken, and industry
conditions. In one or two pages maximum.
- Sales and Marketing
Found closest to the front and usually written
by the marketing department, this explains
where the company sells and where it makes
most of its money. The scope of lines, divisions,
and operations should be clear.
- 10 Year Summary of Financial
This is usually provided by the Chief Financial
Officer (Directeur financier, Financieel
directeur). It is best to place this at
the front of the report.
- Management discussion (Discussion
de direction, Managementbespreking) and
This is found before the financial statements
(états financiers, fincanciële
staten), and written by the CFO. Discussion
of significant trends (tendances) over the
past two years.
- Chartered Accountant (expert-comptable)
Found either before or after the financial
statements and written by an accounting
- Financial Statements
Provided by the CFO
- Subsidiaries, Brands, and Addresses
Found within the last few pages, this information
is usually provided by the legal department
- List of Directors and Officers
(Direction et cadres, directeurs en kaders)
In the last or next-to-last pages - and
usually provided by the corporate secretary
(secrétaire general, bedrijfssecretaris),
this usually contains biographical data.
- Stock/share Price (Prix de l'action, aandelenpriis)
Analysts want this. It is best to have it
near the front of the report. Should contain
where traded, stock symbol, high/low history
and price/dividend trends over time. This
is usually provided by the corporate secretary.
Some other points to consider when preparing an Annual Report:
- The BUDGET, with its
OPERATING RESULTS (résultats d'exploitation,
Revenues (recettes, inkomsten)
Gross earnings (résultats bruts,
Net Earnings (résultats nets, netto
Earnings Per Share (résultat par
action, inkomsten per aandeel)
- The FINANCIAL POSITION (Situation
financière, financiële situatie),
Total Assets (Actifs totals, totale activa)
Interest-Bearing Debt (Dette portant intérët,
Book Value Per Share (valeur comptable,
Gross Profit Margin (marge bénéficiaire
brute, brutto winstmarge)
Net Profit Margin
Return on Average Equity (Rendement sur
l'action moyenne, opbrengst gewoon aandeel)
Turnover (chiffre d'affaires, omzetcijfer)
- The production team? Will it
be a committee or just one person? Who calls
- Selection of graphic designers/photographers/writers
- What to include exactly? The
major purpose of report
- How "innovative"
should the report be? Die cut layout, inserts,
- Decide on paper, binding, size,
- Theme for report
- Items to avoid/explain
- Competitors and competition
(concurrence, concurrentie) - how much should
- Corporate responsibility (responsabilité
- how much should be included?
- Testimonials are especially
effective for outsiders when they are accompanied
by a photo
- Test final "galley"
copy (épreuve, proef) for readability,
interest, and comprehension
- Look at other reports. Compare
It is also recommended that the cover contain the following information:
Report for Year ____
The ____th Report
30 June _____
Name of Firm
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