Publications of half-yearly financial statements better spread out over time

Press release

The new rules governing publication of half-yearly financial statements by listed companies have led, as intended, to a better spread in the publication times, reducing the number of publications that typically used to occur during the final days of August.

The Royal Decree of 26 March 2014[1], which entered into force in May 2014, eases the obligations of listed companies with regard to the provision of periodic information. The Decree transposes a European directive[2].

Its provisions have restored a deadline of three rather than two months within which listed companies are to publish their half-yearly financial statements.

The reason for extending the deadline was, among others, to achieve a better spread of publications over time. This should benefit small and medium-sized enterprises in particular; more attention will be paid to their financial statements if they do not publish on the same day as larger firms.

The FSMA has observed that a considerable number of companies that were required to publish their half-yearly financial statements at the latest by 30 September 2014 published around the same date as in 2013.

Approximately 80 per cent of the companies published their half-yearly information for 2014 before the end of August. A limited number of companies (6 per cent) published the information in the first half of September, and a good 13 per cent in the second half of September. Only six published on the last day.

There is thus a better spread over time: the number of publications during the period between 28 and 31 August fell by one-third. Since most companies did not publish their information much later than before, the right of investors to receive timely information remained unaffected.

The same Royal Decree has abolished mandatory quarterly information. As expected, many issuers continue to publish quarterly information on a voluntary basis. The FSMA has made sure that this voluntarily distributed quarterly information can be entered into STORI[3], the FSMA database for information by listed companies.

[1]     Belgian Official Gazette, 22 April 2014.

[2]     Directive 2013/50/EU.