How to decode the spin in reporting season

How to decode the spin in reporting season


Record underlying earnings

We’ve put a boat load of crap below the line as “significant items” so our bonuses aren’t affected. Trust us, this is the number to watch. No, really.

Record statutory earnings

Yes, we’ve said for a decade that underlying profit is the true measure of our business. But those numbers looked awful, and we flogged some property, so just look at this statutory number, will you?

It was a resilient result in the circumstances

You knew it was going to be bad, and it is.

Earnings will be skewed to the second half

We are praying that we can save our bonuses in the next four-and-a-half months.

Our momentum has continued

It’s another poor result, but at least it’s better than last year.

We’re becoming a more customer-focused business

Our fees were so high I wouldn’t let my own mother become a client.

Weather impacted our results

We’re not really sure what happened to sales, but it rained a fair bit. We’ll go with that.

We are transforming the customer experience

We got rid of two call centres and now we have an app and a chatbot that looks like that paperclip guy from Microsoft Office 2000.

We are reviewing the business unit

If we could have sold it, we would have. But we can’t, so we need a bit more time to work out how we get rid of it.

Our business improvement program is paying dividends

You should see how many empty desks there are.

The regulatory environment is changing

We weren’t exactly breaking the law, but gosh we were close.

Compliance costs rose during the period

I didn’t even know there was such as thing as a risk officer?

We need to regain the trust of the community

It would be nice if the other members would talk to me at the yacht club.

It’s been a year of transition

God, it was bad.

It will be another year of transition

It’s not getting better quickly.

It’s a non-cash impairment

Yes, we did pay cash for this asset four years ago, but now we’ve discovered that it’s no good, we’re going to pretend like our investors aren’t losing anything.

We’re investing for growth

Don’t expect us to make much money for the next three years.

Competition was intense

Our margins are heading south much faster than we expected. Are cartels still illegal? Does anyone have Rod Sims number?

We’re investing in shelf prices

We were discounting like we were going out of business. And we might be if this keeps up.

We’re simplifying the group

Three months ago I found two divisions I didn’t even know we owned. We had an office in freaking Bogotá.

We’ve decommissioned legacy systems

Half the computers ran on floppy disks, the others didn’t run at all.

We’re conducting a global search for the new CFO

You know as well as we do we’re going to hire the bloke down the corridor.

Profits will be in line with last year

No growth here. Here, there’s no growth.

Earnings will be at the lower end of guidance

Thank goodness we kept the range for profit expectations nice and wide.

Conditions remain uncertain

There’s a fair chance I am looking for a new job by the end of next financial year.

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