Public companies are required by law or listing rules to publish annual reports. An annual report contains financial highlights, discussions of the previous year’s activities, projections, future plans, directors’ report, auditors’ report, financial statements and other corporation details. The content provides information which helps stakeholders and the public to understand a company's performance, organizational culture, business history, financial condition, risk areas, and long-term viability.
The stakeholders who read a company’s annual reports include its shareholders, customers, vendors, employees, financial institutions, potential investors, relevant regulatory bodies, researchers, students and the general public.
An annual report typically contains five key sections: