Net growth of annual reports

More than a third of the UK’s top 250 companies now have Internet sites, half of which use the facility to display their annual reports, according to a new study.

Merchant Design’s second yearly survey of annual reports and accounts covers on-line as well as printed reporting.

Both Merchant and on-line design specialist Nucleus Design expect to see an increase in the number of annual reports on the Internet.

However, Nucleus questions the effectiveness of Internet sites formed from transposing printed annual reports with no input from an on-line specialist.

Big companies are starting to bring in the few on-line design specialists which have an understanding of the annual report sector, says Nucleus managing director Peter Matthews.

“In certain industries the Internet site will be more important than the printed document,” says Matthews, “but this won’t make the printed version of the annual report redundant.”

Printed annual report design is still a fragmented market, with the eight most prolific consultancies working for less than a third of the top 250 companies, the Merchant survey reveals.

Pauffley & Co leads the pack for the second year running, again designing 17 reports. It is followed by Addison on 15, CGI on 13, and Tor Pettersen & Partners and Radley Yeldar on 10 each. Holmes & Marchant Corporate Design and Merchant both worked on eight and Bamber Forsyth did seven.

“There are still no dominant groups. It is a very fragmented market,” says Merchant marketing director Robert Moser.

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