ftse 100
Quarterly updates are not compulsory anymore for publicly listed companies (Reuters)

Multinational financial service provider Legal and General has sent a letter to the boards of FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies, saying they support the scrapping of quarterly reporting requirements.

The Financial Conduct Authority lifted the legal requirement for publicly listed companies to publish their quarterly statement in November 2014, a move which has been welcomed by the Association of Investment Companies.

Legal and General underlined the fact that quarterly reporting focuses on short term investments. Mark Zinkula, the company's chief executive, wrote in the letter: "As a major investor in the shares and bonds of UK listed companies, invested through both active and index funds, we highly value the communication that we have with management teams.

"For many businesses, we believe, reducing the time spent on frequent reporting could help management to focus more on long term strategies and articulate more on market dynamics and innovation drivers that will enhance their performance over time."

Interim statements only cover three months of sales, which has been considered too short to portray any significant developments. For some companies, however, the difference in sales between quarters could offer insight into how much influence seasonal events had on sales.

Especially retailers, for example, tend to attribute jumps or falls in sales to different weather than expected.

Many FTSE 100 companies in the past have complained that the quarterly sales statements are a mere distraction for long term investors.