Lack of corporate guidance in spite of demand from audience

DESPITE increased pressure on companies to be more open about their business practice and performance, firms across Europe are failing to rise to the challenge, new research claimed yesterday.

More than 60 per cent of the top 200 companies in Europe provide no detailed corporate guidance to their core investment audience, despite the vast majority of analysts and business media saying more detail would be welcome.

According to research by specialist communications consultancy Smithfield, 93 per cent of investment analysts and financial journalists agreed that specific financial guidance was either helpful or very helpful.

The report suggests that many companies are influenced by the fear that forecasts might have a detrimental effect on how the business is viewed, with a significant majority (39 per cent) saying guidance could affect their opinion to the negative.

And over half (52 per cent) of analysts said that they would apply a discount or a premium to a company based on its guidance.

According to Smithfield, of the top 200 companies in Europe, only 77 have issued specific guidance for 2012.