I recently remembered starting in my first investor relations job in September 2004, so that part of my career is now of age in Finnish terms. The core of IR has not changed much in these years, but the way of doing things is quite different, especially with Gofore. We strive for the kind of transparency that a modern investor really needs to make their decision.
In addition to the usual financial statements, half-year report and two quarterly business reviews, we publish a monthly business review. It entails a CEO’s review, number of employees, full-time capacity equivalent and subcontracting figures, as well as net sales. Essential key figures with comparing numbers enable frequent updates on the execution of our growth strategy. Thanks to this, we have in turn left exact financial guidance out of our repertoire.
Well, my IR colleagues might think, that sounds like a lot of work! Actually it’s not. Reporting on a half-year and annual level is easier when the basis is a monthly reporting routine; leadership that continuously feels the pulse of staff, markets and finances.
I am yet to hear of another Finnish company that would follow our example, which I find surprising. Gofore has reported monthly since 2018, and as we know, the world has since then only changed into a more unpredictable place.
This is also why listed companies should, alongside financial reporting, develop the commentary of their market outlook and near-term risks more and more. Recently, especially negative profit warnings with too short notice have made investors cringe. The world is no longer one like in e.g. 2004, where it was enough for leadership to properly stop and think of finances, markets and risks only four times a year.
IR must also always be equal. When institutional investors we met last spring all asked us the same questions on Gofore’s risk factors, we decided to summarize them and cater for all investors’ needs. In the half-year report, we introduced a new kind of estimate on our near-term risks. This is not to replace the Board of Director’s Report’s risk analysis, but instead to complement it with the latest views from leadership.
So IR has grown to be very open and agile in 18 years – at least from where we stand as the busiest reporter in our marketplace. Perhaps in Gofore’s case, IR has also grown mischievous in a differentiating, positive way. Why do it like everyone else when you can do more?