Accountancy Age Awards 2007: Annual Report & Accounts - Business


Logo for Accountancy Age 2007 Awards Winner: WPP
From the chief executive downwards, WPP says it takes the planning and execution of its annual report very seriously. The cynics out there will probably say that this is another bit of boiler-plate rhetoric, rolled out by FTSE heavyweights saying what they think investors want to hear.

But in WPP's case, this rings true for myriad reasons.

In a financial reporting climate the demands for segmental disclosure can be crippling. And it is fair to say that a parent company with more than 100 different divisions worldwide, and which employs 98,000 people in advertising, media investment management, information insight and consultancy, public relations and public affairs, branding and identity, direct marketing and healthcare and specialist communications, has a lot to communicate to shareholders.

The WPP report managed to fill two extremely challenging remits: the first was to present a single face and a set of easily understood set of figures for shareholders, with enough detail to allow them to make an informed decision on a financial, professional and ethical basis.

The second was to expand on the huge diversity of the component companies. This was not only done well on a large scale, but also expertly summarised in 'The Six Minute Read', which simplified the complex, while avoiding distortion.

The judges said: 'This report is beautifully presented and really gives a flavour of where the business is going. It rejects jargon and offers excellent detailed breakdowns of the company's performance. It clearly states the opportunities and foreshadows the risks to the business. It demonstrates that WPP really knows what its business is and amounts to a cracking report.'

Source: Accountancy Age

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WPP Annual Report & Accounts