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Company reports 'bland and confusing'

Many company reports amount to little more than bland, confusing and numerically misleading data, according to new research this week.

The report comes as companies find themselves under increased scrutiny from the outside world and pressure to explain their activities, as demonstrated by protesters outside GlaxoSmithKline?s annual general meeting last week.

Of the 66 City analysts in the survey, 45% of them said that reports were too gimmicky. This figure rose to 58% when looking at reports in the IT/telecoms sector. A third of analysts complained of unclear language in all industry sectors.

The survey, conducted by Corporate Edge, a design consultancy, will give more credence to the public’s increased demands for more concise, accessible company information.

Companies also came in for criticism for their failure to take advantage of the internet.

Four-fifths of those polled said that companies do not use the internet enough to communicate with shareholders. Analysts complained that the old economy companies were worse online than those in the new economy.

Simon Lake, managing director of Corporate Edge, said: ‘It appears that companies in the more traditional industry sectors are missing a trick.’

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