The Annual Report is the Board’s main method of communication with a company’s shareholders. The layout and the contents of the report is determined by a variety of rules and regulations which, over the years, have made the report longer and longer and, to most shareholders, more incomprehensible. Usually though the Chairman’s Report near the front will contain a useful summary of what has happened to the company over its financial year. The accounts, further in, tell you how much profit or loss the company made, what its balance sheet looked like at the end of the year, how its cash balances moved around and also a report that tries to explain how shareholders’ equity changed over the year.
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