BEST ANNUAL REPORT AWARD 2005
Report of the Jury on the Best Annual Report Award 2005
In a survey conducted by ALGAFI among its members, 59% of those surveyed indicated
that they feel they have not enough information on Luxembourg-based companies and
that they would like to attend more company presentations. This was, in 2005, an
additional reason for us to revive a long-standing ALGAFI-tradition: the Best Annual
Report Award. ALGAFI has granted this award since it was founded in 1989, and we are
pleased to present the 2005 award-winners today.
The Best Annual Report Award aims at fostering contacts between finance professionals
and the business community, as well as promoting the quality of financial reporting and
business communication in Luxembourg. Since Luxembourg has on the one hand only a
limited pool of publicly listed companies, but on the other hand a lively and prolific
international financial centre, ALGAFI has from the onset granted a Best Annual Report
Award to a publicly listed company as well as to a Luxembourg-based bank.
The Jury for the awards is composed of members of ALGAFI’s Commission on
Activities. This year’s members were:
Prof. Dr. Yves Wagner (ALGAFI Chairman)
Laurent Fedrigo (PriceWaterhouseCoopers)
Guy Seyler (Banque et Caisse d’Epargne de l’Etat)
Hubert Van de Vyver (Fortis Banque Luxembourg)
Jean-Claude Weidert (Kredietbank Luxembourg)
1. THE CRITERIA
The Best Annual Report Award is granted to the company or bank which scores highest
on a range of criteria designed by our commission. Based on our past experience and
on the practice of our sister associations in other European countries, we examine 18
criteria spread among 6 different sections.
These sections are:
1. General Presentation (Readability, Key Figures, Others…)
2. The company in its context: (Economy and Financial Markets, Sector
Developments, Strategy and Objectives, Competitive Positioning)
3. Business Reporting (Business Report, Divisional and Geographic Breakdown)
4. Company Structure (Company Bodies, Internal Structure, Group Structure)
5. Financial Reporting (Balance sheet, PL accounts, Cash Flow Statement, Notes)
6. Others (eg. Corporate Governance, Risk Management, Others…)
As a rule, the award winner in one year does not qualify for the year thereafter.
This year, 12 listed companies and 15 banks were taken into account for the two
awards. For the banks, we chose those with the biggest workforce in Luxembourg. The
rationale for this was that a bank with little personnel is less likely to produce complete
and comprehensive Annual Reports.
The companies listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange are very different in nature
and in size. Among the 36 listed companies incorporated in Luxembourg, only ten are
subject to daily transactions on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, on average; 12 are
holding companies, 27 would internationally probably qualify as ‘micro-caps’ and only 5
are truly multinational groups. It comes as no surprise that the latter make the biggest
efforts in terms of financial reporting.
Writing and publishing a good annual report is no small task and takes time, especially
in a transitional year where the shift towards IFRS reporting had to be managed. This is
the reason why ALGAFI closes its examination only at the beginning of June.
Unfortunately, and sadly, a number of companies and banks had not yet published their
2005 Annual Report by end-May and could therefore not be included in the sample. This
is the first reason why our sample was unusualy small this year. Although this is
something we regret, we must once more point out that availability and timeliness are
two distinctive qualities of financial reporting.
Overall, we find the quality of financial reporting in Luxembourg is good and compares
well with the standards abroad. The weakest parts are the competitive context, the
internal structure, and, as mentionned above, timeliness.
ALGAFI will certainly continue to promote the quality of financial reporting in
Luxembourg. We think that business leaders are increasingly aware that providing
financial information is not only needed for the markets to work well, but is also
enhancing shareholder value, and, for non-listed companies, strengthening customer
relationships. No rational investor wants to hold equity of a company which provides no
2. THE WINNERS
BEST ANNUAL REPORT AWARD 2005 for listed companies: RTL Group
The 2005 Annual Report is appealling, complete, detailed and makes a genuine effort to
present the company’s structure and activities. The jury appreciated in particular the
detailed divisional and geographic figures, but would have liked a more traditional
presentation of the balance sheet, a section on risk management and … company
BEST ANNUAL REPORT AWARD 2005 for Luxembourg-based banks:
Société Générale Bank & Trust
The jury found the SGBT Annual Report 2005 concise yet complete, very readable and
beautiful, with annual accounts shown with great clarity. We appreciated in particular the
explanations of the company’s strategy in the context of the SG Group. We would have
liked to see an additional sections on on financial markets, as well as on industry
developments in particular within the Financial Centre of Luxembourg.