Comparison And Analysis About Next Plc Accounting Essay

Making determination on investing in which company needs to see about several different facets of the companies and do related comparings. As a Financial Analyst working in a house of stockbrokers which is a London based company, in order to supply the utile advice on investing chances in Debenhams Plc. or Following Plc. for a major possible investor, this study will be carried out to analyze these two companies to unite the practise with theories. Both Plc. and Following Plc. are UK based retailing company which are chiefly sell vesture and place merchandises. To be specific, the analysis will be developed into four chief countries to look at different facets of these two companies, which are Fiscal Performance, Financial Position, Corporate Governance and Corporate Social and Environmental Reporting. The brief descriptions of these four countries are presented as follows.

Fiscal public presentation chiefly applied to gauge how good the company utilize its assets to bring forth gross. On this regard, it will concentrate on the income statement of each company to seek out which company performs better. The general methods to mensurate companies ‘ fiscal public presentation is through some profitableness and investing ratios of company, such as net net income border and return on equity. It is a good step that can be used to compare companies located in the same industry over a given period of clip for measuring the company ‘s the overall fiscal wellness.

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Fiscal place of a company is determined by its assets and its liabilities. In add-on, it besides includes the stockholders ‘ equity. Consequently, to gauge a company ‘s fiscal place requires looking into the company ‘s balance sheet. The related information can assist the investors to measure the strength of company ‘s fiscal place. The company with a stronger fiscal place represents it has stronger ability to run into its liabilities, which means its stockholders or investors will set about a lower hazard for puting in this company.

In add-on to the fiscal facets, corporate administration of company is besides a important facet that investors should see about. Corporate administration is a sort of regulative, policy and legal mechanisms to assist direct, manage and command the company. It indicates the relationships between the direction of a company and its stockholders and other stakeholders, and besides presents the ends that the company is traveling to accomplish ( Williamson, 2002 ) . The corporate administration of a company can be found in the company ‘s one-year study, which could be used to measure the company ‘s direction public presentation and look into that does the company run into its ends.

Presently, an increasing figure of companies begin to pay more attending on developing corporate societal duty, which is another important factor that the investors should concentrate on. Harmonizing to the description made by McWilliams and Siegel ( 2001 ) , CSR is defined as “ actions that appear to foster some societal good, beyond the involvement of the house and that which is required by jurisprudence. ” The CSR coverage, affecting in environmental coverage, will state the investors how the company dainty and be responsible to its stakeholders. By and large, a good CSR public presentation would hold a positive impact on the company ‘s public presentation, because it normally represents good repute and religion from clients.

This study will interrupt down into these for wide countries to compare and analyze the related public presentation between Debenhams Plc. and Following Plc. The recommendations and decision about which company should be chose to put in will be given in the concluding portion.

Fiscal Performance

In order to gauge companies ‘ fiscal public presentation, it needs to look into the companies ‘ fiscal statements.

Literature Reviews ( Theory and Practise )

In the past several decennaries, a batch of surveies have been carried out to measure company ‘s fiscal public presentation. Fiscal public presentation uses figures to represents the company ‘s public presentation in the company ‘s fiscal statements, including the income statement, balance sheet and hard currency flow statement. In general, investors would wish to do investing determinations based on measuring companies ‘ fiscal public presentation as it is a direct method to understand the companies ‘ public presentation through figures. Harmonizing to the statement made by Mokhtar, Karbhari and Naser ( 2005 ) , the fiscal public presentation can be used to stand for a company ‘s profitableness, wellness and finally its endurance. Indeed, companies with high fiscal public presentation normally are regarded as success narratives with efficient and effectual operation direction that investors will be confident to put in. On the other manus, the companies with lower fiscal public presentation mean they are deficiency of efficient direction which are improbable to convey benefits to investors ( Makhamreh, 2000 ) .

There are different methods that have been employed in the literature to mensurate companies ‘ fiscal public presentation in pattern. The instruments involve in some related ratios to calculate out the companies ‘ profitableness and rate of return, such as net net income border and return on equity, and some analysts would wish to look deeper into the hard currency flow statement to look into the state of affairs of hard currency in the company ( Heras et al. , 2002 ; Haversjo, 2000 ; De With, 1996 ) . The study carried out by Sankaran ( 2002 ) applies a series of fiscal ratios, including liquidness, profitableness, solvency and return on investing, to mensurate 10 major international pharmaceutical companies ‘ fiscal public presentation. He besides pointed out there are several factors that is likely to lend to the fiscal public presentation of transnational corporates. For illustration, the high cyberspace and gross net income borders were ensuing from the rise in gross revenues and better control of costs ( Sankaran, 2002 ) .

Comparison and Analysis about Next Plc. and Debenhams Plc. in Fiscal Performance

Under this study, it will use a figure of ratios affecting gross revenues growing rate, profitableness ratios and investing ratios to measure the fiscal public presentation of Next Plc. and Debenhams Plc. The ratios can be seen from the Table 1 below.

Following Plc.

Debenhams Plc.






Gross saless growing rate

4.3 %

-3.2 %

4.1 %

0.9 %

4.3 %

Profitability Ratios

Gross net income border

30.4 %

29.3 %

29.3 %

13.6 %

13.4 %

Net net income border

12.4 %

11.9 %

10.7 %

5.6 %

5.3 %

Tax return on equity

191 %

169 %

274 %

19.0 %

17.8 %

Investing ratios

Net incomes per portion ( P )






Dividend per portion ( P )






Table 1

( Calculating based on the one-year studies of Following Plc. and Debenhams Plc. )

First of all, looking at the gross revenues growing rates for these two companies from the twelvemonth 2010 to the twelvemonth 2012, it is obvious to happen out a diminishing tendency of gross revenues in Debenhams Plc. from 10.7 % in 2010 to 0.9 % in 2012. Mentioning to the Following Plc. , even though there is a crisp bead in sale growing in 2011 which is a negative growing, the growing rate of sale for the company has increased back to 4.3 % in 2012, which shows a good tendencies. It means Following Plc. might hold done some betterment to excite its gross revenues growing.

At the 2nd topographic point, the profitableness ratios indicate how good the companies use their cost or plus to bring forth gross. On this regard, both Next Plc. and Debenhams Plc. perform good with comparatively stable gross net income borders and net net income borders for these three old ages and really there exist visible radiation increasing tendencies in these two borders, which mean these two companies have continuously enhanced the efficiency of costs and direction. However, what needs to be mentioned about is that these two borders for Following Plc. are much higher than Debenhams Plc. ‘s for the recent three twelvemonth. In other words, it may ensue from the higher effectivity of bing and direction in Next Plc. In footings of the return on equity, it is obvious that the Following Plc. has much higher figure in this ration for the recent three old ages, which all exceed one hundred per cent and in 2010 the return on equity was over 200 % . The excessively much higher Roe does non ever represent good things as the company may hold excessively many liabilities so that the stockholders ‘ equity would be lower. Then the company would show an unhealthy fiscal purchase and investors would set about a higher hazard. On the other manus, although the Debenhams Plc. has a normal return on equity at around 19 % , looking deeper into the balance sheet, it figures out that the Debenhams Plc. nowadayss excessively much intangible assets measuring over ?800 million, which accounts around 50 per cent of entire plus. The excessively much intangible assets will besides convey a higher hazard for investors as the value of intangible assets is volatile.

In add-on, the investing ratios for these two companies reveal that the Following Plc. with higher net incomes per portion and dividend per portion is probably more attractive to investors instead than Debenhams Plc.

Fiscal Position

Mentioning to measuring the companies ‘ fiscal place, it needs to look into the assets, liabilities and stockholders ‘ equity signifier balance sheet.

Literature Reviews ( theory and pattern )

To measure companies ‘ fiscal place, it needs to look at the companies ‘ position of the assets, liabilities, and stockholders ‘ equity ( Kieso, Weygandt and Warfield, 2007 ) , which are reflected in the balance sheet of companies fiscal statements. By and large, the analysts will analyze the comparative fiscal place through some indexs that are chiefly reflected by related ratios ( Sohl et al. , 2009 ) . The related ratios involve in liquidness ratios and solvency ratios. Liquidity ratios are applied to measure the companies ‘ ability to utilize their assets to run into short term liabilities ( less than one twelvemonth ) and solvency ratios are applied to measure whether the companies are able to utilize their assets to run into long term liabilities ( more than one twelvemonth ) ( Tracy, 2004 ) . These indexs will do investors understand the strength of companies ‘ fiscal place. A strong fiscal place or status will take down the hazard that the investors need to set about and investors will be confident to lend their money in the company.

In the existent universe, Bankss can be treated as one of the major investors for most companies. If a company collapsible shelter to do loan from bank, it needs to supply its fiscal statement to demo its fiscal place. In the balance sheet, there will be a list of important assets and a list of important liabilities of company. Then the bank would utilize this information to measure the strength of fiscal place. In other words, the bank wants to do certain the company have the sufficient ability to refund the loan in the hereafter. The bank would impart money to the company based on the value of assets so as to forestall the loss of default from company. Similar with Bankss, all investors would non wish to set about a higher hazard. Therefore, it is of import to measure the companies ‘ fiscal place before doing a determination for investiment.

Comparison and Analysis about Next Plc. and Debenhams Plc. in Financial Position

For the intent of comparing and analyzing the fiscal place of Following Plc. and Debenhams Plc. , it will transport out through utilizing liquidness ratios and solvency ratios, including current ratio, speedy ratio and pitching ratio. The relevant ratios can be seen from the Table 2 below.

Following Plc.

Debenhams Plc.






Liquidity Ratios

Current ratio






Quick Ratio






Solvency Ratio

Gearing Ratio

296.2 %

256.6 %

463.5 %

62.4 %

62.6 %

Table 2

( Calculating based on the one-year studies of Following Plc. and Debenhams Plc. )

Current ratio peers to current assets over current liability, which measures the company ‘s liability to run into short term liabilities. The better current ratio should be at around two, which means the company has adequate ability to refund its current liabilities. On this regard, Next Plc. with current ratios over one for all the recent three old ages performs better than Debenhams Plc. Even though there is an increasing tendency in the current ratio for Debenhams Plc. , it is still much lower than Following Plc. ‘s. Furthermore, as both Next Plc. and Debenhams Plc. are retailing company chiefly supplying vesture and place merchandises, they have a big figure of stock lists as current assets which are non easy plenty to reassign into hard currency. Therefore, it is important to cipher the speedy ratio for them to happen out the truer liquidness status of these two companies. The speedy ratios of Debenhams Plc. for the recent three old ages are all under 0.2. It means Debenhams Plc. are likely unable to refund its short term liabilities. On the other manus, Next Plc. dramas much better with speedy ratio at around 1. However, in footings of the ability to refund the long term liabilities, Next Plc. has showed a much worse figure. The pitching ratios, besides the debt to equity ratios, of Following Plc. are 463.5 % , 256.6 % and 296.2 % for 2010, 2011 and 2012 severally. The higher geartrain ratio means Following Plc. has a higher grade of purchase, which is considered riskier if investors tend to put in. Compared with Debenhams Plc. with a lower geartrain, Next Plc. would be more vulnerable to travel downswings in concern rhythm as it has to utilize its gross to refund its liabilities and demand to seek to continuously increase gross revenues.

Corporate Administration

The corporate administration is reflected in the corporate administration study from the company ‘s one-year study.

Literature Reviews ( theory and pattern )

Corporate administration is topic that investors and other stakeholders pay an increasing attending on. Sifuna ( 2012 ) defines the corporate administration as “ a system of jurisprudence and sound attacks by which corporations are directed and controlled focussing on the internal and external corporate constructions with the purpose of supervising the actions of direction and managers and thereby extenuating bureau hazards which may stem from the misbehaviors of corporate officers. ” Based on a recent research made by Mercer Investment Consulting, 46 per cent of institutional plus proprietors have considered about the corporate administration of company when they tend to do investment determinations ( Fombrun, 2006 ) . There are several nucleus constituents that constitute good corporate administration. It consists of board construction, audit and fiscal control, executive compensation, stockholders ‘ rights and market for control ( Pierce and Waring, 2005 ) . Good corporate administration would back up the company to “ run in the best long-run involvements of its stockholders ” .

Presently, in order to assist investors and other stakeholders of company to do relevant determinations, there are three chief administrations that provide administration evaluation, which are Governance Metrics International ( GMI ) , Institutional Shareholder Services ( ISS ) and The Corporate Library ( Fombrun, 2006 ) . Almost 3200 international corporates have been rated by Governance Metrics International and 33 of them obtain the top administration evaluation mark of 10. A big figure of companies would wish to better their corporate administration because investors may be probably to lend more money in the companies with higher degree of administration evaluation. Indeed, harmonizing to the study carried out by McKinsey & A ; Company, investors are willing to lend a premium of 12 to fourteen per cent to the companies with better corporate administration in Western Europe and North America, and the premium rate will be even higher in new developing countries.

Comparison and Analysis about Next Plc. and Debenhams Plc. in Corporate Administration

The comparing and analysis about the corporate administration for Following Plc. and Debenhams Plc. will be chiefly developed into three nucleus countries that investors will concentrate on, which have discussed before: board construction, audit and fiscal control and stockholders ‘ rights ( Pierce and Waring, 2005 ) .

Both Next Plc. and Debenhams Plc. have a clear board construction includes Executive Directors and Non- Executive Directors. For Following Plc. , it has five Executive Directors involve one Chairman and four independent Non- Executive Directors. Compared with Next Plc. , Debenhams Plc. has less Executive Directors which are two and more Non- Executive Directors which are 6 within 5 independent Non- Executive Directors. The more independent Non- Executive Directors in Debenhams Plc. means it may break represent and contact with stockholders instead than Following Plc.

With the intent of supplying clear, accurate and timely fiscal revelation, both Next Plc. and Debenhams Plc. hold established audit commission with independent outside hearers. The audit commission of Debenhams Plc. appoints PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as its external hearers and Ernst & A ; Young LLP has been the Following Plc. ‘s hearers for over 20 old ages. Additionally, the two companies ‘ external hearers besides provide non-audit services to heighten the independency and objectiveness of external hearers. The better audit control will vouch the fiscal statements offered by these two companies are true and faithful.

On the regard of stockholders ‘ rights, both Next Plc. and Debenhams Plc. claim that all the ordinary stockholders are entitled to go to the Annual General Meeting and have voting rights with the ability to choose or reselect managers. The stockholders ‘ rights will advance the managers to more actively communicate with stockholders and be responsible for them.

In add-on to these three facets, their corporate administration studies besides include other facets, such as wage schemes and hazard direction. All of these constituents constitute overall good corporate administration for these two companies.

Corporate Social and Environmental Reporting

Literature Reviews ( theory and pattern )

There are a figure of theories discoursing on the corporate societal duty. Milton Friedman ( 1970 ) descried an bureau theory the CSR is a signal of bureau job of company which would misapply the company ‘s beginnings to some values-added internal undertakings. Freeman ( 1984 ) added more positive position on CSR that the direction of company should see about different stakeholders such as workers and providers and fulfill them so that influence the company ‘s result. After that, the stakeholder theory had been expanded by Donaldson and Preston ( 1995 ) . Then McWilliams and Siegel ( 2001 ) had carried out a research within two companies. These two companies provide indistinguishable merchandises but one company has done some corporate societal things on its merchandises. As a consequence, this company ‘s merchandises are higher valued by clients and other stakeholders. Therefore, McWilliams and Siegel ( 2001 ) concluded that the CSR activities may convey positive influence to companies. In their followers survey, they introduced resource-based position of house. They believe that if CSR schemes are supported by political schemes, it will be used to bring forth sustainable competitory advantage for companies ( McWilliams and Siegel, 2002 ) .

At present, directors of most large international corporates devote more attempts on developing good corporate societal duty. Harmonizing the relate research, more than 50 per cent of the Fortune 1000 companies issue CSR studies every twelvemonth ( Tsoutsoura, 2004 ) . Addition, it normally besides includes the environmental coverage as the company without attention about environment will hold a negative on the societal. It is known that the oil spill of BP in Gulf of Mexico in 2010 has non merely the serious negative influences on the environments and the people populating around that catastrophe, but has highly bad effects of the company ‘s repute, which make the company lose a batch. Therefore, the Corporate Social and Environmental Reporting is besides important to measure by investors when they tend to do investing determinations.

Comparison and Analysis about Next Plc. and Debenhams Plc. in Corporate Social and Environmental Reporting

Following Plc. behaviors Corporate Social Responsibility study yearly, which involves in Environmental studies. Its CSR study indicates how the company usage CSR activities to back up it concern activities ‘ success and continuously turning with duty to all its stakeholders, including providers, clients, employees, environments and community. Following Plc. announces that the concern will be run in a responsible manner through moving in an ethical mode, sing about their employees, being responsible and taking attention about the impact they made on the environment, supplying supports by charitable parts and presenting faithful value to their clients. On the footing of its good public presentation in Corporate Social Responsibility, Next Plc. has been selected as one of 2012 London Olympics Games spouses. In add-on, on the regard of environment, Next Plc. continued to carry through its aims of cut downing impact on environment and obtained some accomplishments in 2012, which include cut downing the usage of energy by 5 % compared with last twelvemonth, overall 85 % operational waste holding been recycled and 9 % decrease of distribution compared with last twelvemonth.

Compared with Next Plc. , Debenhams Plc. does non transport out an single Corporate Social Responsibility study. It merely provides its corporate societal activities as sustainable reappraisal in the company ‘s one-year study, but it does non intend that Debenhams Plc. does non care about its stakeholders, which besides includes providers, clients, employees and environments. In their one-year study, Martina King who is the chair of sustainability commission claims that “ being environmentally and socially responsible is embedded into the concern and into everyone ‘s function ” . In footings of the environmental country, Debenhams Plc. besides aims to cut down impact on environments to back up sustainable concern. In add-on, Debenhams Plc. has their ain environmental schemes: a fresh attack of waste, energy efficiency in shop, driving down impacts and pull offing clime alteration. However, no affair the Corporate Social Responsibility activities or environmental activities, Debenhams Plc. did non present sufficient inside informations to explicate how they conduct these activities and have what accomplishments.

Decision and Recommendations

To sum up, taking the public presentation of all these four countries into history, investors should take Next Plc. to put in. From the position of fiscal public presentation, Next Plc. has a better public presentation instead than Debenhams Plc. Next Plc. has an increasing tendency in gross revenues growing rate but Debenhams Plc. has diminishing tendency. The profitableness ratio and investing ratio besides can be treated as indexs that Following Plc. will convey more benefits to investors. Particularly, the earing per portion and dividend per portion of Next Plc. are much higher than Debenhams Plc. ‘s. After that, through the analysis of fiscal place for these two companies, it can reason Next Plc. has a stronger ability to run into its short-run liabilities with comparatively higher current ratio and even the speedy ratios for the recent three are all at around 1. Compare with Following Plc. , Debenhams Plc. performs much worse in its liquidness. In peculiar, the speedy ratio is even lower under 0.2. In footings of the corporate administration, both of these two companies have a good presentation with clear board construction, good audit and fiscal control and fulfilled stockholders ‘ rights. Finally, on the regard of Corporate Social and Environmental Reporting, Next Plc. has behavior an single Corporate Social Responsibility study including environmental study detailing the activities the company did and is traveling to make in the hereafter to back up ethical and successful concern, which did better than Debenhams Plc. every bit good.

On the other manus, even though Following Plc. has an overall better public presentation in different countries, there still be some possible jobs that should pay attending on if investor is traveling to put in. The most important job is that Following Plc. has an highly higher return on equity and a higher degree of purchase ( pitching ) , which means investors will set about a higher hazard if they contribute money in. What is more, the company has fewer independent Non-Executive Directors instead than Executive Directors. The deficient independent Non-Executive Directors may be non plenty to stand for stockholders. Therefore, the company had better to increase the figure of independent Non-Executive Directors, which will be more good for stockholders.


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