interim financial statements

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Financial statements issued for a period of less than a financial year. Although there are provisions under the Companies Act 1985 that refer to interim accounts in certain circumstances relating to the distribution of dividends, there are no legal requirements obliging companies to produce interim accounts on a regular basis. However, listed companies on the London Stock Exchange are required to prepare a half-yearly report on their activities and a profit and loss account during the first six months of each financial year. The interim financial statement must be either sent to the holders of the company's listed securities or advertised in at least one national newspaper not later than four months after the end of the period to which it relates. A copy of the interim financial statements must also be sent to the Company Announcements Office and to the competent authority of each other state in which the company's shares are listed. The vast majority of companies choose to send the interim statement to shareholders with a brief announcement of the headline figures reported in the press. There is no requirement for the interim statements to be audited. Although the stock-exchange regulations require mainly profit information, there is a trend for the larger companies to also provide balance sheet and cash-flow statements. In the UK, the requirements only call for six-monthly financial statements, but some of the larger companies with interests in the USA follow the US practice of issuing reports quarterly.

Subjects: Financial Institutions and Services — Accounting.

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