The details of essay are below.
Each individual student will research, prepare a critical analysis of financial information
for a FTSE 100 company, and submit a formal essay. Company chosen is NEXT PLC
The essay should summarise the following aspects of the company’s performance
(NOTICE: no separate answers to each question are expected. These questions are
to make apparent the core issues faced by companies):
1) Using financial reports data for a total of 5 years, 4 years pre-Covid-19 crisis (i.e.,2016-2019) AND the Covid-19 crisis years (i.e., 2020-21) each student is expected to focus their attention on the general strengths and weaknesses that the company had before the crisis, and any possible changes in the company circumstances during the crisis, including information from 2021 whenever possible. Notice that as financial, annual and other reports for the year 2021 will not be complete, any partial reports and information could be used to inform your discussion. Constraints in access to information must be made apparent in the “methodology” and the
“analysis” section of the essay.
2) As the company selected as a case study may be a multinational corporation,students have to appreciate that the company’s performance may differ from other companies who only trade in the UK because their revenues may depend on different countries, which were less/more affected by the crisis. This factor should
be an interesting point to develop by looking at the particular location of operations which have suffered more during the crisis, the type of
activities/operations/products of the company which have been more/less harmed,and to find out any possible variations in the short-term strategy of the company
during 2020-21.
3) Clearly identify the specific financial, risk and annual reports, the accounts and the ratios in the corresponding financial statements depicting information of positive and negative consequences of the crisis versus the pre-crisis performance. Has the company changed its capital structure by taking/issuing more debt/equity? Has the company changed its Working Capital policies/ratios? Has the company fulfilled
any investment plans during the crisis period or delayed investments which were scheduled in advance to 2020-21? Have the profitability indicators been acutely/slightly affected by the crisis? How has the company progressed in the
application of the ESG Criteria?
4) Clearly identify the reports, accounts, ratios, and intelligence provided by external analysts. Incorporate relevant information about assistance/support received from government or Bank of England policies during the crisis. If commentaries are not openly identified in the company’s financial statements and accounts, students are
expected to notice this fact and state possible reasons for the missing
information/details.
5) Visibly ascertain the risk factors that the company should be surveying after the crisis (i.e., short-term and medium-term after the crisis), and relate each one of these risk factors to explicit financial reports, accounts and ratios that must be monitored by the corresponding financial manager, the executive and board of
directors of the company, and any potential investors and stakeholders.The essay is to be handed in by the submission date including all academic references
used in the presentation. References will be provided in alphabetical order.

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