Assessment Title: An Evaluation of the Financial Performance of a Business


This assignment is designed to assess learning outcomes:

  • Evaluate the reliability and usefulness of publicly available corporate report information and the role of this information in informing business decisions.
  • Identify principles underpinning information technology and the ability to assess the strengths and weaknesses of digital skills in relation to financial information.


This coursework counts for 75% of the overall mark for the module as a whole.

           The coursework will be undertaken as an individual work. You are required to analyse the recent financial performance of Tesco PLC (as the main company) and compare it to J Sainsbury PLC (as a competitor). The report should conclude with an investment recommendation for a potential equity investor (buy, sell, or hold shares).

Using financial ratio analysis as well as other techniques, you are required to use the company’s latest Annual Report. When writing the report, your focus should be on the main company, using the other company and any industry average data as a benchmark for comparison. Do not write your report as if you are analyzing the two companies separately.

You are required to write a 3,000-word report to an investor, containing a detailed analysis of the financial position and the financial performance of the company.

            Given that the latest annual report and the financial accounts of any company are already out of date by the time it is made available, you will be expected to show knowledge of the present and likely future economic & business environment within which the company is operating in order to make informed comments on the financial ratios that you calculate. The completed coursework is to be in the form of a written report.

You MUST include relevant extracts from the latest Annual Reports, namely the Income statement, and the Statement of Financial Position (Balance Sheet) – with notes to the accounts where appropriate. These extracts should be included within the appendices to your report. They will be required to support your ratio calculations and your analysis, and their inclusion is essential.


You are required to address each of the following tasks within your written report:

 Criteria for AssessmentMax marksMax word count guide for each section
1.Executive Summary: This should focus on the objective (s) of the report and its main findings, conclusions, and recommendations.  5%100 words
2.Introduction: This section should provide a brief background of the company, highlighting the main markets, sources of revenue, and the nature of the industry in which the company operates.10%300 words
3.Financial Analysis   Financial Ratios Calculation: You need to calculate a comprehensive set of ratios for at least two years (you can do more if you wish) for your allocated company and for the company you have selected for comparative purposes. These ratios should cover the following five core areas: a) Profitability b) Liquidity c) Efficiency d) Financing e) Investment potential   APPENDICES should include the following information (not to be part of the word count): Ratio calculations. We encourage you to calculate the financial ratios using Excel. The calculations should be presented in clearly prepared tables, either in Excel or Word. A copy of the tables should be pasted into the main report as an appendix (these tables are not included in the word count).Relevant extracts from the latest Annual Reports including: the Income statement,the Balance Sheet notes to the accounts where appropriate   Financial Statements Analysis: An interpretation and assessment of each company’s recent financial performance and position based exclusively on the financial statements in the Annual Reports. This analysis and assessment should cover the following five core areas: – a) Profitability b) Liquidity c) Efficiency d) Financing e) Investment potential  50%                                    2,000 words
4.A discussion of the limitations of your analysis. An explanation of the limitations of your analysis, including the financial ratio analysis technique. Also, provide a reflection on the usefulness of financial ratio analysis in evaluating the financial performance of companies.10%300 words
5.Conclusion: Clearly stated and reasonable recommendations and conclusions. Clear advice is given to the investor which has been logically derived from previous analysis and supported by evidence from the Annual Report and any wider news and literature.10%300 words
6.Structure, presentation, and Harvard referencing: The report is well presented with effective use of tables, charts, and appendices. Material is coherently structured. Give clear references using Westminster Harvard Referencing Style.   The report should be professionally prepared, and the text should be carefully spell checked and proofread. In addition, the report should provide a logical and clearly written argument to support the conclusions reached in each section.  15% 

3.1  Word Count

The word count for the report is 3,000 words, excluding any figures, graphs, appendices, and the list of references. Some flexibility is permitted in the word count, up to 10% of the total.

3.2 An individual reflective Statement

Student must also include around 200 words of Reflective Statement (not part of the 3,000 words) detailing what you have gained from carrying out the assignment. You should particularly focus on the skills that you have acquired and developed whilst carrying out this assignment. Such skills might include researching a company, collecting and analysing financial information, time management, learning how to present information etc. The skills might also include skills connected with working online, a practice which is likely to become more common in the future.

3.4 Useful Websites

The latest financial statements of a company can be found on the company’s website.

You will probably find that, and  are useful sites for this coursework, as is There are many other financial websites that contain useful information, and you are encouraged to find these sites for yourselves.

3.5 Useful tips

  • Your analysis should cover the financial position and performance of the business over at least the last 2 years.
  • Calculations should NOT be shown in the body of the report. These should be included in an appendix.
  • Add an Executive Summary upfront. This should focus on the objective (s) of the report and its main findings, conclusions, and recommendations.
  • Introduction to the report should summarize its objective(s) and contents.
  • Provide a brief overview of the company’s business and the market in which it operates.
  • Pay special attention to the organization and layout of your report.
  • Clear conclusions and recommendations should be given at the end.

3.6 Writing the report.

A report should convey information in the most succinct form possible, so as to inform the reader in a time-effective way. It should summarize your findings in a concise style and should not use slang or informal phrases. You should use the Word spell-check and grammar-check facility.

The report should include:

  • A title page.
  • A contents page, listing the different sections, with page numbers, preferably using a Word Table layout.
  • An introduction, to explain the report’s objective, and the methods used to compile it.
  • The body of the report should be subdivided into logical sections. It should be written with clearly constructed paragraphs that discuss the main findings, which are well supported byacademic sources and should include references as appropriate.
  • A conclusion which sums up your findings in a concise way.
  • A references section, which lists out in full all the sources of information used in the report.
  • This report (Word or PDF) must be typed and presented in a professional manner. You should use Arial, font size of 12, and 1.5 spacing.

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