Other useful reports

Documents prepared by the BACH Working Group

BACH Outlook 11 The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on European Firms. Noviembre de 2022

This document, prepared by the BACH Working Group, evaluates the impact of COVID-19 on European non-financial companies in the countries belonging to the BACH database, with the aim of identifying the general consequences at the European level and the heterogeneous effects, derived from the pandemic, among different sectors. To present a complete analysis, both the asset-capital and income-cost structure of European companies are considered.

BACH Outlook 10 Past economic performance of climate policy relevant sectors. December 2021

This document, prepared by the BACH Working Group, analyzes the structural differences in historical series between the economic sectors potentially affected by sustainability policies and the less affected sectors. The analysis is carried out in the periods between 2007 and 2019 both in terms of financial structure (balance sheet) and profitability (income statement), trying to identify potential differences in both types of sectors based on their exposure to the climate risk.

BACH Outlook 9 European non-financial corporations: a comparison for pre-crisis periods. January 2021

This document uses BACH data from 12 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal and Slovakia) to compare European non-financial activities’ situation in the periods prior to the European debt crisis and the one that is projected for 2020, triggered by the coronavirus pandemics. With that purpose in mind, this outlook analyses both pre-crisis situations, concerning economic activity growth, profitability levels, financial structures and financial pressure. This comparison intends to infer if firms are more prepared in 2020 to face an economic downturn than in 2008, and which financial indicators show firms’ greater vulnerability in the current situation.

BACH Outlook 8 Methodological notes on the economic impact of Covid-19 on European  firms. October 2020

This document provides the methodological ground for the scenario analysis on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on European non-financial enterprises. The indicators proposed in this Outlook are based on the BACH template, and therefore are harmonized and suitable for international comparisons. Two sets of indicators are provided for this analysis. The first group corresponds to an estimate of the time firms are able to suspend their activity until incurring in losses or in risk of insolvency. These indicators allow the identification of the sectors that are more vulnerable to an activity suspension. The second group of indicators estimates the impact of the lockdown measures, for a given set of assumptions. The BACH database provides only aggregated data, nonetheless the methodology provided also applies to individual data, if this information is available for the researchers.

BACH Outlook 7 Technological intensity of industries in European non-financial corporations from 2005 to 2017. November 2019

This study uses data from 13 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Slovakia) to analyse the technological intensity level of economies taking into consideration four groups of technological advancement. This edition of the study focuses on analysis of manufacturing sector in European countries which are available in the database, in different Research and Development (R&D) groups. The structure of companies in this section of activity in terms of the number of companies, employees, turnover and gross value added, as well as selected financial ratios was also analysed.

BACH Outlook 6  High profitability activities: a review on the concepts of profitability. October 2018

This document uses BACH data from 11 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal and Slovakia) to analyse European non-financial activities’ profitability. This document focuses on identifying the activities with high return on equity and knowing their distribution by country and sector. Furthermore, other concepts of profitability are analysed, such as return on assets and the net operating margin. The comparison of the high profitability activities according to each one of the profitability ratios highlights the factors that favour profitability across countries and economic sectors.

BACH Outlook 5 Assessment of the transposition into national law of the new European Accounting Guideline 2013/34/EU. December 2017

This document, analyses the impact of the European Union (EU) Directive and its transposition into national law in the participating countries of the BACH-database, assessing their potential impacts. It also presents an appreciation on the degree to which the goals of the Directive have been met, in particular: to reduce the administrative burden on smaller undertakings, to ensure that the requirements for smaller undertakings are to a large extent harmonized and comparable throughout the European Union, and to improve transparency and access to financial information.

BACH Outlook 4 European non-financial corporations from 2007 to 2014. October 2016

This document uses BACH data to analyse recent developments in in the non-financial corporations of the following European economies: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain. This Outlook focuses on the 2008-2009 financial crisis’ immediate impact over non-financial corporations’ profitability and funding structure, as well as on the evolution in the subsequent periods, distinguishing short-term from long-term effects. A breakdown by sector, size and the distribution quartiles for some ratios are provided in order to better illustrate the diversity of situations among each country.

BACH Outlook 3 Developments in the Deleveraging Process of European Companies: Some Effects on the Asset Side. October 2015

This study presents a description of recent trends in the indebtedness of European non-financial corporation using information from BACH database. In particular, indicators on the financial structure and the composition of the asset side are presented. The analysis includes an assessment of the effects of the financial crisis on the deleveraging process and the investment decisions of European companies, with particular attention is given to the role of firm size and industry affiliation.

IFRS Impact. September 2023

Documents produced by the ERICA (European Records of IFRS Consolidated accounts) WG of the European Committee of Central Balance-Sheet Data Offices to inform about the situation, at the date of drafting the document, regarding the application of the IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) in countries participating in the group (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Turkey) and on the foreseeable effect on databases and analyses performed by central balance sheet data offices.


ERICA Series: Goodwill Analysis on a Panel of European consolidated groups. (March 2023)

In this document belonging to the ERICA WG monograph series, the amount of Goodwill recognized in a sample is analyzed with a dual purpose. On the one hand, it seeks to understand the evolution of the Goodwill through intrinsic factors such as acquisitions, transfers or impairments and, on the other hand, it seeks to evaluate the relevance of the amounts recognized in the annual accounts of both the Goodwill and its impairment, particularly in relation to the risk of overestimation when businesses are acquired.

European non-financial listed groups: Analysis of 2021 data. ERICA (European Records of IFRS Consolidated Accounts) WG. February 2023 

The study presents some highlights of European non financial listed groups included in ERICA (European Records of IFRS Consolidated Accounts) database, on profitability, financial structure, financial debt structure and cost of debt. ERICA is a database for internal use within the members of ECCBSO, composed of around 1,000 European groups, fully representative of the stock markets of the countries participating in the project (Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Spain and Turkey). The data are obtained from publicly available financial statements, having been treated manually, by CBSO statistics and accounting specialists, to be fitted on a standard European format (ERICA format); this manual treatment means, in some cases, the interpretation of the original data, a constraint that readers of this document should bear in mind. 

ERICA (European Records of IFRS Consolidated Accounts) series. ERICA WG. 

The following documents designated “ERICA series” complement the annual report on European non-financial listed groups included in ERICA (European Records of IFRS Consolidated Accounts) database. These “ERICA series” documents include additional information and/or analysis on specific issues, using the ERICA database.

The Use of Accounting Information to Estimate Indicators of Customer and Supplier Payment Periods, and the financing cost of non-financial European companies

This study uses accounting information drawn from financial statements in order to prepare indicators of days sales outstanding (DSO) and days payable outstanding (DPO), used as proxies for customer and supplier payment periods, respectively. Likewise, financing cost ratio is obtained and compared by country, sector and size. Results are presented for the eight countries participating in the working group: Belgium, Croatia, Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Turkey.

Statistics Paper Series. The Bank for the Accounts of Companies Harmonized (BACH) database

This document presents the methodology underpinning BACH (Bank for the Accounts of Companies Harmonized), including the content of the database. It describes the characteristics of national samples and outlines the harmonisation process. BACH is a unique tool for analysing and comparing the financial structure and performance of firms across European countries.

Profitability, equity capitalization and net worth at risk: How resilient are non-financial corporations in a crisis environment? January 2013

The working paper is analyzing mainly the impact of the financial crisis on capital structure and on profitability in the corporate sector in six European countries. The distributions of key financial ratios (profitability, equity capitalization) in the sectors manufacturing, construction and trade and four size classes are compared. Three of the analyzed size classes form the SME category. Companies' profitability was in all size classes heavily impacted by the financial crisis. Also the reaction of the capital structure was similar for all entities. Though the paper also shows that micro entities’ capital structure and profitability are much more heterogeneous than larger entities’. As the institutions contributing to the Study Group have extensive balance sheet data available, the impact of the crisis is also related to a longer timeframe: the last two decades. Further, firms' capability to absorb losses is analyzed with the Net Worth at Risk approach, which the group developed already in its third research paper.

The respective data tables (Annex 2 of the research paper) can be downloaded as an pdf file.

Net Worth at Risk. August 2005

A study that assesses the concept of "net worth at risk ", which is defined as the minimum level of capital a company requires from an empirical viewpoint to avoid becoming insolvent during a recession period lasting two consecutive years in its business sector. The study compares industrial enterprises from Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

Corporate finance in Europe, from 1986 to 1996. November 2000

This is a panel survey on the capitalisation of Austrian, French, German, Italian and Spanish manufacturing companies. It investigates the differences between countries by company size, paying particular attention to the underlying institutional factors. It also studies the relationship between the sources of funding and the assets in which these are invested.

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