Consolidated accounts

A group of companies is required to prepare accounts for the group as a whole as well as the company. These consolidated accounts are almost always what matter to investors.

Initial announcements of results usually contain consolidated results and annual reports always have both company and consolidated accounts. The consolidated accounts are often called group accounts.

The consolidated P & L includes the profits of subsidiaries and the company's share of profits made by associates and joint ventures. If any subsidiaries are not fully owned then a deduction will be made further down the P & L for the profits attributable to minority interests.

The consolidated balance sheet similarly shows the amounts of assets and liabilities of the company and all its subsidiaries. It also shows the value of holdings in associates and joint ventures.

In contrast the company balance sheet and P & L only shows the value of assets, liabilities and profits of the company itself. The impact of subsidiaries, associates and joint ventures is limited to the value of shares in them and dividends paid by them.