Financial and operations planning

The role of a ‘Financial Analyst’ was to be taken in order to analyse the financial report for ‘Orange Plc’. The report is to outline any areas of the financial report that shows unhelpful complexity or obscurity. The telecommunications industry will be looked at, and an analysis of improvements that could be made to a particular company’s annual report (Orange) will be given. After an analysis has been given, a comparison against the ‘Financial Reporting Standards Board’ is to be given. Historically, there have been 4 mobile phone networks operating in the UK.

Vodafone and O2 are the oldest and largest, originally operating analogue (1st generation) networks, and these were later joined by Orange and T-Mobile. All the companies now operate digital (2nd generation) networks. In addition there are now several “virtual” networks such as Virgin Mobile, Value Telecom and Fresh. These networks all have different tariffs and charges, and offer different sales incentives in order to compete with one another. Orange’s UK’s principal competitors in the United Kingdom are the three other existing operators of wirefree communications networks, Vodafone, O2 and T-Mobile.

All of them commenced their operations before Orange UK. Vodafone has also established itself in a number of other countries. At 31 December 2001, Vodafone, O2 and T-Mobile accounted for approximately 26%, 24% and 20%, respectively, of all wirefree customers in the United Kingdom, while Orange UK estimates it had approximately 28% of all wirefree customers. Orange is part of the mobile communication industry. Orange launched in April 1994 into the UK mobile communications market with a simple vision.

A vision for a brighter future, where people can communicate wherever, whenever and however they wish. Orange has mobile interests in 20 countries, covering a total population of 490 million people. The operations are mainly in Europe but also have a wider international presence. The customer base of Orange’s controlled operations was over 30 million at the end of December 2000. By the end of March 2001 this had grown to over 33 million. In 2000 Orange UK maintained its position as the UK’s fastest growing operator.

Its customer base doubled and its market share increased from 20% to 25%. Turnover also grew significantly, increasing by 76%. Orange is the second largest mobile operator in Europe, and the largest and fastest growing operator in both France and the UK. The company has now a UK customer base of over 11. 9 million putting it first over O2, Vodafone and T-Mobile. Orange advertises its brand through television, radio, press, direct mail, billboard and via the internet. Sponsorship plays a large part in creating and maintaining awareness to the public.

Orange sponsors (stating a couple), The ‘British Academy of Film and Television Arts’ (BAFTA) where television viewing from the public is enormous, and it is also appealing to all markets. The ‘Heineken Cup’ is also sponsored by Orange. This is Europe’s toughest and most exciting rugby competition, which appeals to a wide range of potential customers not only in the UK but also throughout Europe. Both sponsorships appeal to all age groups and all social categories. Throughout the report, Orange have managed to keep the presentation and enthusiasm of the reader to a maximum.

There was one exception to this, and this is at the beginning (page 6). This is the second major page, and it has no specific structure. The page consists of five important graphs but they are cluttered together. The graphs are of major importance to an investor, but may loose their interest with a disordered introduction so early in the report. The graphs show comparisons of the companies performance over the years 2000 and 1999. This is important information, as a potential investor will want to know the company’s recent performance.

For easier browsing, it would be suggested that the page be split up to having only three graphs per page with explanations besides each of them. The yellow background to the graphs also makes the page look dirty. It would be suggested that each of the graphs had a border to them showing a clearer separation. Throughout the report, Orange uses technical terms to explain its financial performance and recent history. If a potential investor or non-accounting person was to read through the report they may not understand some of the terms that are used.

Orange has provided a ‘glossary of terms’ at the end of the report that explains many terms and abbreviations to help readers through the report. It is clear to see that Orange has lacked in providing adequate information to its investors and to its potential investors. Although a good summary of all the financial information has been presented, it would be more appropriate to include full tables of these financial data sheets. A full disclosure of the information would help meet the needs of all the seven accounting groups mentioned.

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