The financial year is the period over which a company measures its performance. It can but does not have to correspond to a calendar year. At the end of the financial year the company will prepare its annual report to shareholders. All quoted companies also have to prepare interim reports and companies listed on the main market currently have to publish quarterly reports as well. A company may change its financial year end and so, from time-to-time and especially when a company is new, the company may report on a period longer or shorter than 12 months so, when comparing one financial period to the next, remember to check you are comparing like with like.
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