Accounting & Finance Front Sheet/ACC3015DL
NB. This sheet must be attached to any submission of Accounting
& Finance field module coursework ONLINE.
No assignment will be accepted without it.
Student IDs LON130829018 (University of Northampton 16401320)
Student Name: Rotimi Olumuyiwa
Title of Coursework ACC3015 Case Study
Marking Tutor Dalbir Khangura
Hand in Date 17 April 2016
Checklist before submission
Have you read, understood and acted in accordance with the referencing guidelines set out in the appropriate Accounting & Finance Module Guide.
1. Where you have quoted directly from or where you have paraphrased the work of others, have you acknowledged and appropriately referenced the source of your quotation in the body of the text?
2. Have you placed all direct quotations in inverted commas?
3. Have you listed and correctly cited all your sources in your bibliography?
Declaration by the candidate named above
1. I confirm that this is my own work (or, in the case of a group assignment, the work of my group) and that, although I may have consulted others in the course of assembling material for the work, the finished article has been completed without help or participation of any other person (other than, in group assignments, other members of the same group).
2. The work contains no material drawn from unattributed sources.

Student Signature Rotimi

Date Signed 14 of April, 2016.
Question 1 a
To: Chief Financial Officer, Asol Ltd
From: Assistant Chief Financial Officer, Asol Ltd
Date: 09th February, 2016
Hennes & Mauritz AB (H & M) and Next Plc Analysis of Financial information for decision on investment justification.

Next Plc was founded in 1864(152 years ago) by Joseph Hepworth. A British multinational footwear, clothing, and home products retailer. Next Plc was formerly called Joseph Hepworth & Son (1864-1982) with its headquarter in Enderby, Leicestershire with around 700 stores as at 2011, 502 stores are in Ireland and United Kingdom with the rest across Europe, Middle East and Asia. Operating income as at 2015 was £812.1 million, revenue £3,999.8 million, and the profit was £634.9 million, all as at 2015 with number of employees of around 50,018. (Winn, 2010)
Hennes & Mauritz AB, founded by Erling Persson in 1947, is a Swedish multinational retail clothing company, popularly known as H & M for its fast fashion clothing for teenagers, children, men, and women with its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. The company’s revenue as at 2013 was 150.1 billion SEK, with its net income at 17.14 billion SEK. (Haberberg, 2008)
In order to establish the financial position and financial performance of H & M and Next Plc for the last 5 years, this financial analysis was carried out. This is done in order to be able to make decision in this complex situation of the most viable company to invest in. Profit maximisations are the reasons for investment in the acquisitions of shares which stands as the primary objectives so that the wealth of the shareholders can continue to grow and how to survive is the main driver. There are four most important criteria that has to be considered prior to purchase of shares before investment decision can be made. They are as follows:
Next Plc and H&M dividend policy.
The obtainable share purchase current earnings.
Next Plc and H&M shares investment relative risk.
The share purchase obtainable future earnings.
With reference to the aforementioned, appropriate financial ratios will be selected, see appendix A for computations and appendix B for chart in decision making, to justify the most viable shares to acquire.

Financial strength.
In order to determine the financial strengths of the two companies, current ratio and quick test ratios has been chosen. Current ratio suggests that if a business can pay its debts out of its current assets within one year, it shows how much cover available for every £1 the company owes. (Gitman, 2011)
Current ratio=Current asset
Current liabilities.

The current ratio of Next Plc in 2014 and 2015 is stronger than the rest of the year’s current ratio. This indicate that Next Plc has sufficient cash to pay for its debt. A current ratio between 1.7 to 2.0 is very good for the business. There should not be too much funds locked in in the current asset but to be given to shareholders or reinvested into the business. A current ratio between 1.0 to 1.5 is low and suggest that the business needs extra time to pay its creditors or obtain extra finance to support the business.
Comparing the current ratio of Hennes & Mauritz Plc, it showed that the ratio is over 2.0 in all the years. This shows that the company has enough funds in its current assets to pay its current liabilities debt without borrowing or to ask for extension of time from creditors. Also, the average current ratio for Next Plc is 1.58 while H&M is 2.54.
Current Ratio Column graph.
Current Ratio Trend line.

Quick ratio
The quick test ratio is good for testing in a company with large stock because stock is not ready in cash, removing the stock from the current asset before carrying out the test. The value of stock is different from company to company, for example, accountancy firm will not have more stock as in compared to supermarkets. (Gitman, 2011)

Acid test = Current asset – stock
Current liabilities.
It gives warning sign for companies that holds inventories of problems with liquidity, it is not a good news if the ratio is less than one. It is not important for businesses with turnover of stock that is high. The average quick test for Next Plc is 0.99 while H&M is 1.51. H & M Plc will be a good investment, although in 2010, 2.06 was the acid test but reduced until 2014 to 1.07. Judging with the working capital to back this up, H&M Plc has more working capital to do business than Next Plc.
Acid test Column line
Acid test Trend line.

Efficiency ratio.
In order to determine the efficiency of the two companies, asset turnover ratio and inventory turnover ratio has been chosen. Asset turnover ratio. This is an efficiency ratio that weigh the ability of a company to generate sales from the company’s assets by comparing net sales with average total assets. (Gitman, 2011)

Asset turnover ratio=Net sales
Average total assets
Higher ratio is favourable indicating that assets are used more efficiently, lower ratio shows that assets are not used efficiently indicating problems with the production or management. H&M has a strong assets turnover ratios in 2010,2012,2013, and 2014 compared with Next Plc except for 2011 when Next Plc has a slightly stronger asset turnover of 1.89. The average asset turnover ratio for Next Plc is 1.87 while H&M is 1.99 Overall; H&M is doing better than Next utilising its internal assets favourably.

Asset turnover Column graph.

Asset turnover trend line.

Inventory turnover reveals how well stock is managed by comparing cost of goods sold with average stock for the period. (Gitman, 2011)
Inventory turnover ratio= cost of goods sold
Average stock
(Average stock = adding the beginning and end stock/2)
It is good to have a high return. H&M inventory for five years is low compared with Next that have a higher margin. This shows that it will take longer for H&M to sell its stock and quicker for Next to sell its stock indicating that Next is doing better by selling quickly. The average inventory turnover for Next Plc is 6.77 while H&M is 3.46.
Inventory turnover column graph.

Inventory trend line.
Profitability
Gross profit and Net profit margin has been selected to know the profitability of the two companies. Gross profit margin tells how much of every pound of revenues that remains after paying cost of goods sold. The higher the better the more the company retains on each pounds of sales to service its other cost and expenses. (Gitman, 2011) The average Gross profit margin for Next Plc is 31.58 while H&M is 60.10. H&M gross profit margin for the five years period indicated that H&M is making good sales almost double Next Plc with high gross margin than Next Plc making it a good investment.

Gross profit margin column graph.

Gross profit margin trend line.

Net Profit marginis the percentage of the remaining balance of revenue after the deduction of operating expenses such as taxes, interest, and preferred stock dividends has been removed from the total revenue of a company. (Gitman, 2011)
Total revenue-total expenses
Total revenue =net profit/total revenue=net profit margin.
2010 and 2011, H&M has a higher net profit margin than Next Plc but 2012 to 2014, Next Plc has a higher net profit margin than H&M showing that Next Plc did better in making profit for this 3 years compared with H&M who only make good profit than Next for the first 2 years. The average Net profit margin for Next Plc is 13.91 while H&M is 14.41.

Net profit margin column line.

Net profit margin trend line.

Management effectiveness
Effectiveness of the two companies’ management can be compared by using return on assets and return on equity ratios. Return on assets is the annual net income ratio to a business average total assets during a financial year by measuring the business efficiency in using its assets to generate net income showing the number of pence earned on each pound of assets, the business is more profitable by showing higher value. (Gitman, 2011)
Return on assets=annual net income (after tax)
Average total assets
2011 and 2012 and 2013, H&M return on assets is higher than Next. 2014 and 2015, Next did better than H&M with a very slight higher return on assets. The average return on assets for Next Plc is 21.92 while H&M is 28.58.
Return on Asset column graph.

Return on Asset trend line.

Annual ratios
Return on equity shows the ability of a firm to generate profit from its shareholder’s funds, it is an indicator on how efficient management is growing the company by using equity financing to funds operations, very vital for would be investors to see how money to generate net income will be used efficiently. The higher the ratio the better from the investors point of view. (Gitman, 2011)
Return on equity= Net income
Shareholders’ equity.
Return on equity of Next Plc from 2011 to 2015 are very high margins compared with H&M showing that Next Plc is making money better than H&M in using the shareholder’s money efficiently. The average return on equity for Next Plc is 201.64 while H&M is 31.58.
Return on equity column line

Return on equity trend line.

Valuation
Operating cash flow/share is the cash from normal business operations generated by a company which is available to be reinvested or share to shareholders. More values are being created for the shareholders if a company generate higher operating cash flow per share. (Gitman, 2011)
For the whole five years, Next Plc operating cash flow per share has created more value for the shareholders because the figures are greater than that of H&M. Next average cash flow is 3.71, while H&M is 1.17

Operating cash flow/share column graph.

Operating cash flow/share trend line.

Pay-out ratios
This is the earnings percentage paid out to the shareholders in dividends and how much retained funds on hand for reinvestment, to pay off debt, or add to cash reserves known as retained earnings.

Source: (Investopedia, 2016)

Looking at Next Plc, the dividend pay-out ratio average for NEXT Plc is 34.76% while H&M Plc is 71.55%.

H&M average numbers of stores is 2819.4 as compared to NEXT Plc which only have 536.2
Number of Stores financial ratios Column Graph Next Plc & H&M Plc.

Source: (NEXT, 2016)
Number of Stores non-financial ratios Trend lines Next Plc & H&M Plc.

The average gas emission ratio for H&M is 20% while NEXT Plc is just 15% emission. H&M produces more emission than NEXT Plc, NEXT is more environmentally friendly because of less emission.
Emission Co2 Gas non-financial ratios Column Graph Next & H&M Plc

Emission Co2 Gas non-financial ratios Trend lines Next & H&M Plc

Source: (H&M, 2016)

Financial ranking summary
Financial ratio Next Plc H&M Plc
Current ratio Worst Best
Acid test Worst Best
Asset turnover Worst Best
Inventory turnover Best Worst
Gross profit margin Worst Best
Net profit margin Worst Best
Return on assets Worst Best
Return on equity Best Worst
Operating cash flow/share Best Worst
Pay-out ratios Worst Best
Number of Stores Worst Best
Gas Emission Co2 Best Worst

Looking at the aforementioned summary, it can be deduced that the interest of the shareholders is in the return on equity. Next Plc did well on return on equity indicating that the shareholders are happy because they are getting return on their investment. Comparing the number of stores, the amount of capital, and the average dividend pay-out ratio in the assignment brief, Next Plc=34.76%, and H&M Plc=71.55%, H&M Plc is doing better and can be good for investment than Next Plc.
MEMO for H&M Plc and NEXT Plc.

To: The Management H&M Plc
From: Rotimi Olumuyiwa
Date: 13th of April, 2016.
Subject: Financial ratios performances and Recommendations.
Based on the aforementioned summery of the financial and non-financial ratios, it can be deduced that H&M Plc did best in 7 out of 12 financial and non-financial ratios, and did not do well in return on equity and the other 4. The interest of the shareholders is on the company’s profitability which eventually result in return on equity. The learner’s recommendation for the company will be focused on return on equity and the rest of the financial ratios that H&M Plc is not doing well. These areas need improvement to make the shareholders happy and would be investors.

Yours Truly,
Rotimi
To: The Management NEXT Plc
From: Rotimi Olumuyiwa
Date: 20th of March,2016.
Subject: Financial ratios performances and Recommendations.

According to the outcomes of the financial and non-financial ratios, it is clear that NEXT Plc did well in 5 out of 12 financial and non-financial ratios but are not performing to the best of standard expected. The most important area which is of interest to the shareholder and would be investors is to get funds back on their investment which is the return on investment. NEXT Plc did very well on this area but looking at other profit margins and investment, improvements must be made on other 7 financial ratios that NEXT Plc is not doing well to make it more viable for investment.
Yours Truly,
Rotimi
Question 1 (3).
Recommendations of how financial performance of poorly performing business can be improved.
In order to improve poorly performing business, performance in measurement should be embark on in the area of quantitative and qualitative measurement as well as non financial and financial. When communicating what the company is doing and implementing, corporate strategy should be supported making sure that reports are provided on time at intervals, adjusting to decision makers needs as well as their activities. Also, paying more attention to data accuracy including their calculations because of errors should be paramount to the organisation.
Regular review of cash flow forecast and updates is suggested. If there are changes in the working capital, investigate the causes and compare it with the standard of the industry, and make efforts to source for additional capital if required, for example, through funding. Cost must be under continuous evaluation making sure that cost is covered in the sale price but customers are not to be expected to pay for any inadequacies. Evaluate borrowings to know if the interest on present borrowings is suitable, if interest can be cheaper elsewhere, seek for borrowing elsewhere with cheaper interest as a replacement. Business changing needs and growth plans should be arranged to equip financing of the company.
Knowing the right finance for the business is pivotal. Measuring the output per person to target increase in profits such as operating margin, gross profit margin, return on capital employed, net profit margin, gearing ratios, liquidity ratios, and efficiency ratios are equally important.

Conclusion.
After a careful consideration, having examined the profitability, survival and capability to grow, the number of stores, with H&M having the biggest number of stores, the present earnings and charts in the appendixes, and the dividend pay-out ratios which is more of interest to the shareholders as return on their investments is more important to them, (NEXT Plc is 34.76% and H&M Plc which is 71.55%), it can be deduced that H&M Plc has a strong dividend pay-out ratio and good return on equity making it a viable choice for investment, hence I recommend.

Question 1 (4).
Limitations of relying on financial ratios to interpret firm performance.
Financial ratios seem to ignore bigger picture. The ratios biggest strengths which is their simplicity is their utmost weakness. Ratios can at times miss a bigger picture when a complex set of data is reduced to a single figure. It may actually be a safer alternative due to firm’s distinctive circumstances for a firm with the higher debt to asset ratio. For instance, a recently completed bridge might have been built with borrowed funds. Payments received by the firm might be more than make up for all of its outstanding debt. This type of information is not communicated by ratios and wrong thought might sometimes be given. (Haberberg, 2008)
Based on balance sheet, cash flow statement, and the income statement, financial statement is prepared with figures reflecting the snapshot of the past as different to representing present or future. Financial statement is always outdated because it takes time to prepare, therefore, the ratios may be based on irrelevant data. (Haberberg, 2008)
Among the limitation of financial ratios is that the end of financial year is not the same. It varies from company to company. This assignment is a glaring example of this. Next Plc end the financial year in January while H&M Plc end the financial year in November showing two months’ intervals between the two companies.
Different sections in different industries are being operated by many firms. As a result of these facts, it is very hard to discover a meaningful set of average ratios for these industries. Due to inflation, a company’s balance sheet may have been severely inaccurate affecting the profits. The interpretation of company’s ratio analysis over time or companies of different ages comparative analysis must be with judgement. Ratio analysis can be inaccurate due to seasonal factors; misinterpretation chances can be reduced if a business seasonal factors are understood. For instance, the inventory of a retailer preparing for back to school will be high causing the company’s ROA to be low and the account payable to be high. (Preve, 2010)
Comparisons can be inaccurate using different accounting practices such as LIFOvsFIFO, leasing vs buying equipment’s, and so on and so forth, this can even happen within the same company. It may be hard sometimes to tell if a company is good or weak due to be having some good and some bad ratios. It is sometimes hard to tell precisely if a ratio is good or not good, for instance an historically classified growth company with high cash ratio may be accepted as a good sign, whereas it may be seen as a sign that the company is no longer a growth company and ought to command reduced valuations. It is dangerous to conduct ratio analysis in unthinking, mechanical manner, nevertheless, insightful information can be provided if used intelligently. (Damodaran, 2004)

Question 2 a
Net Cash flow and Net Present Value for Project A
01/01/2016 31/12/2016 31/12/2017 31/12/2018 31/12/2019 31/12/2020 31/12/2021
Year0 Year1 Year2 Year3 Year4 Year5 Year6
Cash Inflow 0 73,000 73,000 40,000
+33,000
+40,000
=94,000 40,000 40,000 30,000
Cash Outflow (120,000) (50,000)
Net Cashflow (120,000) 73,000 73,000 44,000 40,000 40,000 30,000
Discount factor @ 20% 1.00 0.833 0.694 0.579 0.482 0.402 0.335
Present Value (120,000) 60,809 50,662 25,476 19,280 16,080 10,050

NPV=60,809+50,662+25,476+19,280+16,080+10,050-120,000=62,357

First machine depreciation
Cost-disposable value/useful life.
Cost=£120,000
Disposable value=£21,000
Useful life=3 years
Depreciation charge = (£120,000-£21,000)/3=£33,000
Year 1 cash flow=Profit+depreciation+any cash in (i.e. disposable value)
=£40,000+£33,000=£73,000
Year 2 cash flow=£40,000+£33,000=£73,000
Year 3 cash flow=£40,000+£33,000+£21,000=£94,000
Less £50,000 purchase price of machine
£94,000-£50,000=£44,000
Second machine depreciation.
Cost -disposable value/useful life
Cost =£50,000
Disposable value=0
Useful life=5 years
Depreciation=£50,000-0/5=£10,000
Cash flow in year 4=£30,000+£10,000=£40,000
Year 5 cash flow=£30,000+£10,000=£40,000
Year 6 cash flow=£20,000+£10,000=£30,000

Payback period Project A.
Year Cash flow Cumulative cash flow
0 (120,000) (120,000)
1 73,000 (47,000)
2 73,000 26,000
3 44,000 70,000
4 40,000 110,000
5 40,000 150,000
6 30,000 180,000

Payback period= 1 + 47,000
73,000
Payback period=1.64 years.
Accounting rate of return.Project A
Average net profit=total net profit/number of years.
Total net profit=40,000+40,000+40,000+30,000+30,000+20,000=200,000
Average net profit=200,000/6=33,333.33
Accounting rate of return=average net profit/average investment x 100%
Average investment for the first machine=cost+residual or disposable value/2
= (120,000-21,000+50,000)/2=74,500
Accounting rate of return=£33,333.33/£74,500 x 100
=44.74%
Net Cash flow and Net Present Value for Project B (Machine 2)
01/01/2016 31/12/2016 31/12/2017 31/12/2018 31/12/2019 31/12/2020 31/12/2021
Year0 Year1 Year2 Year3 Year4 Year5 Year6
Cash Inflow 0 30,000 40,000 50,000 80,000 90,000 75,000
Cash Outflow (120,000)
Net Cashflow (120,000) 30,000 40,000 50,000 80,000 90,000 75,000
Discount factor @ 20% 1.00 0.833 0.694 0.579 0.482 0.402 0.335
Present Value (120,000) 24,990 27,760 28,950 38,560 36,180 25,125

NPV=24,990+27,760+28,950+38,560+36,180+25,125-120,000=£61,565

Depreciation for Project B machine 2.
Cost-disposable value/useful life.
Cost=£120,000
Disposable value=£0
Useful life=6 years
Depreciation charge = (£120,000-£0)/6=£20,000
Year 1 cash flow=Profit+depreciation+any cash in (i.e. disposable value)
=£10,000+£20,000=£30,000
Year 2 cash flow=£20,000+£20,000=£40,000
Year 3 cash flow=£30,000+£20,000=£50,000
Year 4 cash flow=£60,000+£20,000=£80,000
Year 5 cash flow=£70,000+£20,000=£90,000
Year 6 cash flow=£55,000+£20,000=£75,000

Payback period Project B
Year Cash flow Cumulative cash flow
0 (120,000) (120,000)
1 30,000 (90,000)
2 40,000 (50,0000)
3 50,000 0
4 80,000 80,000
5 90,000 170,000
6 75,000 245,000
Payback period= 3 + 0
80,000
Payback period=3 years
Accounting rate of return.
Project B
Average net profit=total net profit/number of years.
Total net profit=10,000+20,000+30,000+60,000+70<000+55,000=245,000
Average net profit=245,000/6=40,833.33
Accounting rate of return=average net profit/average investment x 100%
Average investment for the first machine=cost + residual or disposable value/2
Average investment for Project B= (120,000+0)/2=60,000
Accounting rate of return=£40,833.33/£60,000 x 100
=68.06%
Advise for the senior manager on which project to choose (A or B)
Projects. NPV Payback IRR
A 62,357 1.64 years 44.74%
B 61,565 3 years 68.06%
Looking at the outcomes stated above, it can be deduced that Project A NPV is greater than Project B, the payback period for project A only took less than 2 years compared with project B that took 3 years. The project that has greater IRR are normally considered to be the best project. Project B IRR is greater than project A. However, NPV are considered to be the most trusted and most accurate ways of measuring which project to undertake. Project A has the greater figure of NPV, early payback period and considered the best project to undertake, hence I recommend.
Question 2 b
Limitations of using investment appraisal techniques to aid long term decision making.
There are limitations to aid long term decision making when using investment appraisal techniques such as the use of payback which ignores funds received after payback and does not consider the future value of money, thus ignoring the project’s profitability with more emphasis on liquidity. It can also be hard to ascertain a target payback period and the approach is short term. Average rate of return is harder to calculate, ignoring time value of funds, and more time consuming. The profits which might arise early are treated the same with profits arising late in the project.Net present value is a lot difficult to understand, more time consuming, and is based on random choice of rate of interest. (Baker, 2015).
Limitations of NPV, precise calculation of cost is required, for long projects, it is always harder to implement. It is a development cost of capital discount rate in reality. (normally on the basis of calculation according to the expectations of the investors, the factors that impact on investment projects should be considered.) (Michael Roemer and Joseph J. Stern,1975). Profitability calculated at the present rate is not revealed by NPV consequently the challenging choice of investment opportunities is affected.
Limitations of IRR, because it is calculated on the cost of capital basis will as a result could lead to identifying the project profitability, hence, the amount of money the investors have will not be known by the investors. (Arnold C. Harberger,1972). This technique can be hard to know. Using trial and improvement calculation, IRR may perhaps be tough to find as well as failing to identify the varying size of many types of investment projects. (McAleese, 2004)
IRR ignores the economies of scale by ignoring the benefits of the actual money value. Using IRR method for a project, it considers the positive future cash flow are reinvested. A project with low IRR will be reinvested at low rate of return, on the opposite, if the other project has high IRR, it will be reinvested at high rate of return. Practically, the state of affairs is not valid. Having the same level of investment opportunity is not possible as at the time of receiving the cash flows. (McAleese, 2004)
Sometimes contingent or dependant projects has to be considered such as buying vehicles and at the same time parking should be arranged which needs to come as a package. There is no point of investing if IRR permits purchase of vehicles but if parking are ignored. The equation of IRR is satisfied with more than one rate of return, that is it reaches the trap of multiple IRR when a project contains negative cash flows in between other positive cash flow. (McAleese, 2004)

References
Baker, P., 2015. Understanding Financial Management. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
C.Harberger, A., 1972. Project Evaluation. 1st ed. London and Basingstoke: The Macmillan Press Limited.
Damodaran, A., 2004. Investment Fables. 1st ed. New Jersey: Financial Times Prentice Hall.
Gitman, J., 2011. Principles of Managerial Finance. 6th ed. Frenchs Forest: Pearson Australia.
Haberberg, R., 2008. Strategic Management Theory and Application. 1st ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
McAleese, D., 2004. Economics of Business. 3rd ed. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.
Preve, S.-A., 2010. Working Capital Management. 1st ed. New York: Oxford University Press.
Winn, C., 2010. I Never New That About Yorkshire. 1st ed. London: Ebury Press.

Apendix A

Financial strength
Next Plc Jan 24 15 Jan 25 -14 Jan 26 -13 Jan 28 12 Jan 29 11 Average of 5 years
Current ratio 1.82 1.76 1.48 1.54 1.28 1.58
H & M 30-Nov-14 30-Nov-13 30-Nov-12 30-Nov-11 30-Nov-10
1.Current ratio 2.11 2.25 2.66 2.71 2.96 2.54
Next Plc Jan 24 15 Jan 25 14 Jan 26 13 Jan 28 12 Jan 29 11 Average of 5 years
2.Acid test 1.16 1.18 0.97 0.91 0.72 0.99
H & M Nov 30 14 Nov 30 13 Nov 30 12 Nov 30 11 Nov 30 10
Acid test 1.07 1.22 1.49 1.69 2.06 1.51
Efficiency
Next Plc Jan 24 15 Jan 25 14 Jan 26 13 Jan 28 12 Jan 29 11 Average of 5 years
3.Asset turnover 1.81 1.85 1.89 1.89 1.89 1.87
H & M Nov 30 14 Nov 30 13 Nov 30 12 Nov 30 11 Nov 30 10
Asset turnover 2.14 2.04 2.01 1.84 1.91 1.99
Next Plc Jan 24 15 Jan 25 14 Jan 26 13 Jan 28 12 Jan 29 11 Average of 5 years
4.Inventory turnover 6.62 6.97 6.91 6.47 6.89 6.77
H & M Nov 30 14 Nov 30 13 Nov 30 12 Nov 30 11 Nov 30 10
Inventory turnover 3.46 3.29 3.37 3.47 3.70 3.46
Profitability
Next Plc Jan 24 15 Jan 25 14 Jan 26 13 Jan 28 12 Jan 29 11 Average of 5 years
5.Gross profit margin 33.59 33.16 31.48 30.38 29.27 31.58
H & M Nov 30 14 Nov 30 13 Nov 30 12 Nov 30 11 Nov 30 10
Gross profit margin 58.81 59.13 59.50 60.13 62.93 60.10
Next Plc Jan 24 15 Jan 25 14 Jan 26 13 Jan 28 12 Jan 29 11 Average of 5 years
6.Net profit margin 15.87 14.79 14.34 12.62 11.93 13.91
H & M Nov 30 14 Nov 30 13 Nov 30 12 Nov 30 11 Nov 30 10
Net profit margin 13.19 13.30 13.96 14.38 17.22 14.41
Management effectiveness
Next Plc Jan 24 15 Jan 25 14 Jan 26 13 Jan 28 12 Jan 29 11
7.Return on assets 28.68 27.40 27.14 23.81 22.55 21.92
H & M Nov 30 14 Nov 30 13 Nov 30 12 Nov 30 11 Nov 30 10
Return on assets 28.28 27.16 28.03 26.51 32.91 28.58
Next Plc Jan 24 15 Jan 25 14 Jan 26 13 Jan 28 12 Jan 29 11
8.Return on equity 208.75 193.43 200.12 190.90 214.98 201.64
H & M Nov 30 14 Nov 30 13 Nov 30 12 Nov 30 11 Nov 30 10
Return on equity 41.27 38.38 38.36 35.84 44.07 31.58
Valuation
Next Plc Jan 24 15 Jan 25 14 Jan 26 13 Jan 28 12 Jan 29 11 Average of 5 years
9.Operating cash flow/share 4.86 3.97 4.09 3.12 2.49 3.71
H & M Nov 30 14 Nov 30 13 Nov 30 12 Nov 30 11 Nov 30 10
Operating cash flow per share 1.25 1.34 1.07 0.99 1.20 1.17
Next Plc Jan 24 15 Jan 25 14 Jan 26 13 Jan 28 12 Jan 29 11 Average of 5 years
10.Free cash flow per share 4.14 3.29 3.58 2.37 1.83 3.04
H & M Nov 30 14 Nov 30 13 Nov 30 12 Nov 30 11 Nov 30 10
Free cash flow per share 0.76 0.89 0.68 0.70 0.93 0.79

Non Financial ratios.
Non Financial ratios
Next Plc 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 Average of 5 years
11.Number of Stores 539
541 540 536 525 536.2
H & M 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
Number of Stores 3511 3132 2776 2472 2206 2819.4
Next Plc 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 Average of 5 years
12.Emissions Co2(Gas) 16% 16% 8% 16% 19% 15%
H & M 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
Emissions Co2 (Gas) 16% 29% 32% 11% 12% 20%
1. Next Plc (Question 1 table)
Next plc
Annual Ratios
[GBP Thousands]
24-Jan-2015 25-Jan-2014 26-Jan-2013 28-Jan-2012 29-Jan-2011
Financial Strength
Current Ratio 1.82 1.76 1.48 1.54 1.28
Quick/Acid Test Ratio 1.16 1.18 0.97 0.91 0.72
Working Capital 729,400 633,600 391,800 397,500 234,400
Long Term Debt/Equity 2.60 2.80 1.98 2.93 2.03
Total Debt/Equity 2.61 2.81 2.31 2.96 2.57
Long Term Debt/Total Capital 0.72 0.73 0.60 0.74 0.57
Total Debt/Total Capital 0.72 0.74 0.70 0.75 0.72
Pay-out Ratio 35.04% 35.23% 32.80% 34.90% 35.84%
Effective Tax Rate 20.12% 20.43% 23.69% 25.07% 27.66%
Total Capital 1,163,100 1,090,000 945,900 882,900 829,400

Efficiency
Asset Turnover 1.81 1.85 1.89 1.89 1.89
Inventory Turnover 6.62 6.97 6.91 6.47 6.89
Days In Inventory 55.13 52.37 52.83 56.38 52.99
Receivables Turnover 5.45 5.56 5.72 5.97 6.14
Days Receivables Outstanding 67.00 65.65 63.78 61.14 59.49
Revenue/Employee 135,729 130,916 125,360 119,962 114,727
Operating Income/Employee 27,985 25,301 24,561 21,192 19,719
EBITDA/Employee 31,864 29,411 28,702 25,365 23,869

Profitability
Gross Margin 33.59% 33.16% 31.48% 30.38% 29.27%
Operating Margin 20.62% 19.33% 19.59% 17.67% 17.19%
EBITDA Margin 23.48% 22.47% 22.90% 21.14% 20.81%
EBIT Margin 20.62% 19.33% 19.59% 17.67% 17.19%
Pre-tax Margin 19.87% 18.59% 18.79% 16.84% 16.48%
Net Profit Margin 15.87% 14.79% 14.34% 12.62% 11.93%
COGS/Revenue 66.41% 66.84% 68.52% 69.62% 70.73%
SG&A Expense/Revenue 13.53% 13.74% 13.26% 12.99% 12.20%

Management Effectiveness
Return on Assets 28.68% 27.40% 27.14% 23.81% 22.55%
Return on Equity 208.75% 193.43% 200.12% 190.90% 214.98%

Valuation
Free Cash Flow/Share 4.14 3.29 3.58 2.37 1.83
Operating Cash Flow/Share 4.86 3.97 4.09 3.12 2.49

Current Market Multiples
Market Cap/Earnings (TTM) 17.38
Market Cap/Equity (MRQ) 34.52
Market Cap/Revenue (TTM) 2.78
Market Cap/EBIT (TTM) 13.85
Market Cap/EBITDA (TTM) 12.13
Enterprise Value/Earnings (TTM) 18.26
Enterprise Value/Equity (MRQ) 36.27
Enterprise Value/Revenue (TTM) 2.92
Enterprise Value/EBIT (TTM) 14.56
Enterprise Value/EBITDA (TTM) 12.74
2. H & M Hennes & Mauritz
H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB
Annual Ratios
[GBP Thousands]
30-Nov-2014 30-Nov-2013 30-Nov-2012 30-Nov-2011 30-Nov-2010
Financial Strength
Current Ratio 2.11 2.25 2.66 2.71 2.96
Quick/Acid Test Ratio 1.07 1.22 1.49 1.69 2.06
Working Capital 1,915,437 2,033,634 2,169,570 2,372,168 2,472,996
Long Term Debt/Equity 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Total Debt/Equity 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Long Term Debt/Total Capital 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Total Debt/Total Capital 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Payout Ratio 80.78% 91.99% 93.22% 49.69% 42.08%
Effective Tax Rate 22.86% 23.86% 24.31% 24.45% 25.30%
Total Capital 4,401,116 4,222,746 4,095,389 4,158,106 4,033,125

Efficiency
Asset Turnover 2.14 2.04 2.01 1.84 1.91
Inventory Turnover 3.46 3.29 3.37 3.47 3.70
Days In Inventory 105.63 110.84 108.29 105.32 98.60
Receivables Turnover 33.12 33.16 32.42 29.64 32.92
Days Receivables Outstanding 11.02 11.01 11.26 12.32 11.09
Revenue/Employee 138,467 147,942 156,151 159,858 166,639
Operating Income/Employee 23,395 25,420 28,120 29,616 37,878
EBITDA/Employee 28,008 30,243 33,149 34,357 42,580

Profitability
Gross Margin 58.81% 59.13% 59.50% 60.13% 62.93%
Operating Margin 16.90% 17.18% 18.01% 18.53% 22.73%
EBITDA Margin 20.23% 20.44% 21.23% 21.49% 25.55%
EBIT Margin 16.90% 17.18% 18.01% 18.53% 22.73%
Pretax Margin 17.10% 17.46% 18.45% 19.04% 23.05%
Net Profit Margin 13.19% 13.30% 13.96% 14.38% 17.22%
COGS/Revenue 41.19% 40.87% 40.50% 39.87% 37.07%
SG&A Expense/Revenue 38.96% 39.06% 38.76% 38.97% 37.69%

Management Effectiveness
Return on Assets 28.28% 27.16% 28.03% 26.51% 32.91%
Return on Equity 41.27% 38.38% 38.36% 35.84% 44.07%

Valuation
Free Cash Flow/Share 0.76 0.89 0.68 0.70 0.93
Operating Cash Flow/Share 1.25 1.34 1.07 0.99 1.20

Current Market Multiples
Market Cap/Earnings (TTM) 23.13
Market Cap/Equity (MRQ) 8.51
Market Cap/Revenue (TTM) 3.04
Market Cap/EBIT (TTM) 18.06
Market Cap/EBITDA (TTM) 15.04
Enterprise Value/Earnings (TTM) 22.17
Enterprise Value/Equity (MRQ) 8.16
Enterprise Value/Revenue (TTM) 2.91
Enterprise Value/EBIT (TTM) 17.31
Enterprise Value/EBITDA (TTM) 14.41

Purpose of the Assessment

The purpose of this assignment is to test communication skills together with the ability to analyse, to interpret and to report. This assignment will also encourage research and investigation.
Assessment Task

The case study consists of two sections- Section A consists of 70 marks and Section B consist of 30 marks. Students are expected to read the case study thoroughly and to answer all the required questions in a structured and organised manner with reference to published work. This is an individual assignment and it is worth 60% of the total module mark.

Academic Honesty: Plagiarism will not be tolerated and could lead to your failure, so please make sure you cite and reference correctly.

Submission deadline: Your answers should be submitted through Turnitin on NILE no later than 10th April 2016, at 11:59 PM (UK time). Please keep in mind that late submissions will not be allowed. If you have any mitigating circumstances that hinder your ability to submit on due date, please inform your module leader before the submission date. To learn more about the University’s mitigating circumstances policy please see the link below:
http://tundra.northampton.ac.uk/results/searchresult.asp?Title=mitigating+circumstances&Description=&Author=&Department=&Date+Created=&Until+Date+Created=&Document+Type=&Perspectives=&submit=Search

Feedback: There will be a written feedback four weeks after the deadline for submission. You will be informed through NILE when the feedback is ready.
Question 1

The following financial data is for clothing retailer companies that are listed on the London Stock Exchange.
You are the assistant to the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Asol Ltd, a large fashion retailer. The CFO of Asol is considering purchasing shares in either of these companies and has asked for your help in making the decision.

1. Next Plc
Next plc
Annual Ratios
[GBP Thousands]
24-Jan-2015 25-Jan-2014 26-Jan-2013 28-Jan-2012 29-Jan-2011
Financial Strength
Current Ratio 1.82 1.76 1.48 1.54 1.28
Quick/Acid Test Ratio 1.16 1.18 0.97 0.91 0.72
Working Capital 729,400 633,600 391,800 397,500 234,400
Long Term Debt/Equity 2.60 2.80 1.98 2.93 2.03
Total Debt/Equity 2.61 2.81 2.31 2.96 2.57
Long Term Debt/Total Capital 0.72 0.73 0.60 0.74 0.57
Total Debt/Total Capital 0.72 0.74 0.70 0.75 0.72
Pay-out Ratio 35.04% 35.23% 32.80% 34.90% 35.84%
Effective Tax Rate 20.12% 20.43% 23.69% 25.07% 27.66%
Total Capital 1,163,100 1,090,000 945,900 882,900 829,400

Efficiency
Asset Turnover 1.81 1.85 1.89 1.89 1.89
Inventory Turnover 6.62 6.97 6.91 6.47 6.89
Days In Inventory 55.13 52.37 52.83 56.38 52.99
Receivables Turnover 5.45 5.56 5.72 5.97 6.14
Days Receivables Outstanding 67.00 65.65 63.78 61.14 59.49
Revenue/Employee 135,729 130,916 125,360 119,962 114,727
Operating Income/Employee 27,985 25,301 24,561 21,192 19,719
EBITDA/Employee 31,864 29,411 28,702 25,365 23,869

Profitability
Gross Margin 33.59% 33.16% 31.48% 30.38% 29.27%
Operating Margin 20.62% 19.33% 19.59% 17.67% 17.19%
EBITDA Margin 23.48% 22.47% 22.90% 21.14% 20.81%
EBIT Margin 20.62% 19.33% 19.59% 17.67% 17.19%
Pre-tax Margin 19.87% 18.59% 18.79% 16.84% 16.48%
Net Profit Margin 15.87% 14.79% 14.34% 12.62% 11.93%
COGS/Revenue 66.41% 66.84% 68.52% 69.62% 70.73%
SG&A Expense/Revenue 13.53% 13.74% 13.26% 12.99% 12.20%

Management Effectiveness
Return on Assets 28.68% 27.40% 27.14% 23.81% 22.55%
Return on Equity 208.75% 193.43% 200.12% 190.90% 214.98%

Valuation
Free Cash Flow/Share 4.14 3.29 3.58 2.37 1.83
Operating Cash Flow/Share 4.86 3.97 4.09 3.12 2.49

Current Market Multiples
Market Cap/Earnings (TTM) 17.38
Market Cap/Equity (MRQ) 34.52
Market Cap/Revenue (TTM) 2.78
Market Cap/EBIT (TTM) 13.85
Market Cap/EBITDA (TTM) 12.13
Enterprise Value/Earnings (TTM) 18.26
Enterprise Value/Equity (MRQ) 36.27
Enterprise Value/Revenue (TTM) 2.92
Enterprise Value/EBIT (TTM) 14.56
Enterprise Value/EBITDA (TTM) 12.74
2. H & M Hennes & Mauritz
H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB
Annual Ratios
[GBP Thousands]
30-Nov-2014 30-Nov-2013 30-Nov-2012 30-Nov-2011 30-Nov-2010
Financial Strength
Current Ratio 2.11 2.25 2.66 2.71 2.96
Quick/Acid Test Ratio 1.07 1.22 1.49 1.69 2.06
Working Capital 1,915,437 2,033,634 2,169,570 2,372,168 2,472,996
Long Term Debt/Equity 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Total Debt/Equity 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Long Term Debt/Total Capital 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Total Debt/Total Capital 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Payout Ratio 80.78% 91.99% 93.22% 49.69% 42.08%
Effective Tax Rate 22.86% 23.86% 24.31% 24.45% 25.30%
Total Capital 4,401,116 4,222,746 4,095,389 4,158,106 4,033,125

Efficiency
Asset Turnover 2.14 2.04 2.01 1.84 1.91
Inventory Turnover 3.46 3.29 3.37 3.47 3.70
Days In Inventory 105.63 110.84 108.29 105.32 98.60
Receivables Turnover 33.12 33.16 32.42 29.64 32.92
Days Receivables Outstanding 11.02 11.01 11.26 12.32 11.09
Revenue/Employee 138,467 147,942 156,151 159,858 166,639
Operating Income/Employee 23,395 25,420 28,120 29,616 37,878
EBITDA/Employee 28,008 30,243 33,149 34,357 42,580

Profitability
Gross Margin 58.81% 59.13% 59.50% 60.13% 62.93%
Operating Margin 16.90% 17.18% 18.01% 18.53% 22.73%
EBITDA Margin 20.23% 20.44% 21.23% 21.49% 25.55%
EBIT Margin 16.90% 17.18% 18.01% 18.53% 22.73%
Pretax Margin 17.10% 17.46% 18.45% 19.04% 23.05%
Net Profit Margin 13.19% 13.30% 13.96% 14.38% 17.22%
COGS/Revenue 41.19% 40.87% 40.50% 39.87% 37.07%
SG&A Expense/Revenue 38.96% 39.06% 38.76% 38.97% 37.69%

Management Effectiveness
Return on Assets 28.28% 27.16% 28.03% 26.51% 32.91%
Return on Equity 41.27% 38.38% 38.36% 35.84% 44.07%

Valuation
Free Cash Flow/Share 0.76 0.89 0.68 0.70 0.93
Operating Cash Flow/Share 1.25 1.34 1.07 0.99 1.20

Current Market Multiples
Market Cap/Earnings (TTM) 23.13
Market Cap/Equity (MRQ) 8.51
Market Cap/Revenue (TTM) 3.04
Market Cap/EBIT (TTM) 18.06
Market Cap/EBITDA (TTM) 15.04
Enterprise Value/Earnings (TTM) 22.17
Enterprise Value/Equity (MRQ) 8.16
Enterprise Value/Revenue (TTM) 2.91
Enterprise Value/EBIT (TTM) 17.31
Enterprise Value/EBITDA (TTM) 14.41

You are required to:

Prepare a report for presentation to the CFO, which analyses the financial information for these two companies and recommends which company would be a more viable option to invest in. The report must include:

1. Selection and justification of at least 10 financial ratios and calculate 2 non-financial ratios to analyse the performance and financial position and investment potential of the two companies. (20 Marks)

2. The use of charts to compare performance of the two companies. You will need to look at the audited financial statement and carry out further research to explain the performance of the company over the five years. (20 Marks)

3. Provide recommendations of how the financial performance of the poorly performing business can be improved. (20 marks)

4. Discuss the limitations of relying on financial ratios to interpret firm performance (10 Marks).
You are expected to research for more information on the companies and cite the material correctly. You can use the Global Business Browser database to access analysts’ and SWOT reports.

Question 2: Capital Investment Appraisal

The following information relates to Hilltop Limited a medium sized manufacturing company.

Hilltop Limited has the opportunity to become involved in one of two potential & mutually exclusive (but not both) projects. Each project will involve the purchase of machines.
The following data relate to the two projects:

Net Profit Project A Project B
Machine 1 Machine 2
£000’s £000,s
2016 40 10
2017 40 20
2018 40 30
2019 30 60
2020 30 70
2021 20 55
200 245

Additional Information:
1. The initial cash investment for Machine 1 or Machine 2 will be £120,000. The purchase would take place on 1st January 2016. It is assumed that all other cash flows would be received on 31 December
2. Machine 1 would be disposed of for cash on 31 December 2018, the cash proceeds amounting to £21,000. Another machine (Machine X) would then be purchases for £50,000 in cash on that day. It would have a life of 5 years, and it would then be disposed of at the nil residual value.
3. Machine 2 would have a life of six years with no residual value
4. The company uses a straight line method of depreciation
5. The companys cost of capital is 20%

Required
1. Using appropriate investment appraisal techniques advise senior management whether they should opt for project A or project B (20 Marks)
2. Discuss the limitations of using investment appraisal techniques to aid long term decision making (10 Marks)
(Total 30 marks)
ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE
1. All calculations must be detailed and presented clearly.
2. Use of published work (citing references) within text is expected.
3. A full list of references should be presented at the end of the case study.
4. Please avoid the use of ‘I, We, Us’ in your case study. You are expected to write in third person.
5. Include the assignment front sheet and marking scheme which is attached to the assignment brief.
6. Your answer should not repeat the question as it will be included in your word count.
7. Formatting:
a. Font Type: Arial.
b. Font size 11/12.
c. Line spacing 1.5 to 2.
d. All pages must be numbered
e. All graphs, charts and tables should have a number and a title.
f. All text must be aligned to the left.
8. Good use of English, referencing, presentation will earn marks.
9. Submit online and on time, late submissions will not be accepted.
10. For extensions or deferral of assessment, please refer to the University policy on mitigating circumstances.
Accounting and Finance Penalties
1. Word Count*: All assessments have a word count with a tolerance of 10% only. Submissions that exceed the word count will be penalised as follows-one grade point* for every 150 words or part thereof.
2. Missing References – penalty is three grade points minimum (see module guide for further details).
3. Front sheet missing-penalty one grade point.
4. Word count missing or inaccurate-penalty one grade point.
** Front sheet, contents page, references and any appendices do not count in the word count.
Accounting & Finance Front Sheet
ACC3015DL
NB. This sheet must be attached to any submission of Accounting & Finance field module coursework ONLINE.
No assignment will be accepted without it.
Student IDs _________________________________________
Student Name
Title of Coursework ACC3015 Case Study
Marking Tutor
Hand in Date 10 April 2016

Checklist before submission

1. Have you read, understood and acted in accordance with the referencing guidelines set out in the appropriate Accounting & Finance Module Guide.
2. Where you have quoted directly from or where you have paraphrased the work of others, have you acknowledged and appropriately referenced the source of your quotation in the body of the text?
3. Have you placed all direct quotations in inverted commas?
4. Have you listed and correctly cited all your sources in your bibliography?
Declaration by the candidate named above
1. I confirm that this is my own work (or, in the case of a group assignment, the work of my group) and that, although I may have consulted others in the course of assembling material for the work, the finished article has been completed without help or participation of any other person (other than, in group assignments, other members of the same group).
2. The work contains no material drawn from unattributed sources.

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