U.K. companies focus on long term as quarterly reporting falls

The number of FTSE 100 and 250 firms issuing quarterly reports has fallen since October by 19% and 25%, respectively, said the Investment Association.

The trade body for U.K. money managers, whose members manage £5.7 trillion ($7.4 trillion) in assets, said more than 40% of FTSE 100 companies and more than 60% of FTSE 250 firms no longer issue quarterly reports to their shareholders.

As of August 2017, 57 of the U.K.'s 100 largest companies report quarterly, compared with 70 in October 2016. For the FTSE 250, 83 report quarterly as of August, down from 111 in October 2016.

The IA has been working to discourage companies from engaging in short-term behavior, such as managing the business to meet quarterly targets, and called on companies to stop issuing quarterly reports and earnings guidance.

The work formed part of the association's Productivity Action Plan, launched in March 2016, which aims to help boost U.K. productivity through long-term investment and enhanced investor stewardship. The plan set out a number of recommendations for the money management industry, including long-term reporting guidance and the creation of a stewardship reporting framework to help managers when reporting their stewardship activities.

"The U.K.'s productivity puzzle is one of the biggest challenges of our generation," said Chris Cummings, CEO of the Investment Association, in a news release. "Solving it is crucial to closing the gap with our major international rivals and to helping the U.K. become more competitive on the global stage. Stronger, more productive businesses are more likely to deliver the long-term investment returns for the millions of people whose savings and investments are managed by our industry."

Over the coming year, the IA will focus on the remaining recommendations, including the development of a standard approach across the money management industry for calculating average holding periods.