“UK companies which have to report quarterly under US rules tend to be disenchanted with the process,” says Arthur Andersen partner Dudley Hilton. The feeling here is that quarterly reporting inhibits a board’s room for manoeuvre by encouraging impossibly short-term thinking.
Technology giants Cisco and Microsoft provide near real time information on their web sites, but this is a step too far for the UK.
UK plcs avoid share price volatility by briefing the City. “Provided companies stay skilled at briefing the market, there seems to be little case for quarterly reporting,” Hilton says.
– Anthony Harrington has been shortlisted in the Private Investment category of the Business Journalist of the Year Awards. Editor Andrew Sawers was also short-listed, in the Corporate Finance category.