Best annual report – FTSE 100 organisation
Combination and Creation
It is not often that a financial document is described as ‘elegant’ but that was the adjective used by many judges to sum up media company Informa’s annual report.
Combination and creation was also a report that had to convey many strands of information. It needed to cover the acquisition of UBM, how integration was progressing well and a refreshed equity story of the enlarged group. It also needed to look backwards, highlighting the performance of a four-year Growth Acceleration Plan, but also set out the strategic vision for the future. And finally, it needed to reinforce the rationale for the acquisition, explain a specialised business in an accessible way and leverage Informa’s new branding to reflect its strong sense of personality.
‘Understanding the enlarged group’ included a simple breakdown, using colour-coding, of the new brands and operating structure and Informa’s international reach, along with ten reasons to invest. The Accelerated Integration Plan also breaks down the six stages to integrate UBM into the group within one year.
This section works hand-in-hand with ‘How Informa operates’, an updated business model which summarises its strategy in four sections, starting with the assets that it draws on, such as talent, brands and intellectual property, to how it creates value for shareholders, colleagues, communities and partners.
The report also contains a series of ‘deep dive’ reports, each written by relevant senior leaders, to add context. These include a discussion of diversity and growth in Asia, containing informative snippets, such as the facts that China is now the world’s second largest exhibition market, while Indonesia and Thailand have both formed national Convention and Exhibition Bureaux, specifically to support and develop the industry. Such insights provide further justification for the UBM acquisition.
But throughout, Combination and creation has personality. Rather than rely on photography to present business life, the report features specially commissioned illustrations by graphic designer Janis Andzans to reflect the culture and personality behind the brand.
The design also introduced the graphic element of Informa’s rebrand – the Orbit – which was weaved into illustrations and utilised in graphs.
Since publication, there has been a 30 per cent increase in requests for investor meetings on last year while downloads of the report from the website are up 40 per cent. ‘This was an impactful report, with a clear design and an easy-to-read approach,’ said the judges.