Winners 2019

Best annual report – FTSE 250 organisation

An even stronger Weir
Weir Group
Agency: Luminous

Engineering solutions company Weir wanted its latest annual report to look different from its predecessors and to present an integrated story of value creation. The report needed to highlight its acquisition of Oregon-based ESCO, the world’s largest provider of ground engaging tools used in mining projects; make a strong investment case and enhance its sustainability reporting.

Weir sees its annual report as an important communications opportunity, particularly for conveying the investment case to analysts and investors. Conveying such information in a simple, compelling way is critical given that MiFID II is now in effect and these audiences are time-poor.

Before embarking on the project, design agency Luminous undertook a peer review, a content review and a best-practice narrative gap analysis. It also facilitated ‘value creation’, ‘strategic report’ and ‘governance’ workshops to ensure each content area brought the strategic story to life.

The overarching strategy was to tell a compelling and integrated story of Weir’s value creation journey. We are Weir was summarised in a one page infographic – Our vision, Our mission, What we do, How we succeed, How we behave – which used colour coding and graphic features to highlight ‘read more’ sections. The extended ‘How we succeed’ section, for example, highlighted the four areas in which Weir believes it can have the greatest impact: people, customers, technology and performance.

But the sections also flow to present an integrated view of the crucial levers of the business, including global mega-trends and how Weir is responding. As the reader moves through this section, they build their knowledge of Weir and gain a layered understanding of how value is created.

An illustrated section on ESCO provides an understanding of how its products complement Weir’s existing offering and extends its geographical range. Indeed, digital mock-ups are used throughout the report to explain complex technologies, Information on stakeholder engagement, and how this feeds the company’s vision, highlights its importance to Weir.

Weir’s commitment to corporate governance is also brought to life throughout the report. There are case studies to illustrate governance in action, as well as Q&A sections on key issues with the related board member.

The judges said: ‘The opening page provided a good snapshot of the business. The report had a decent design, was nicely laid out and easy to read. It also was good to see attention paid to making values visually impactful.’