U+I Group PLC annual report 2020

Cutting the clutter for clarity

U+I is a Smallcap listed specialist regeneration and property developer recognized for creative vision and entrepreneurial flair. They create long-lasting social and economic change for the communities in which they work and sustainable value for their shareholders. U+I are driven by a very clear purpose - to unlock long-term potential for all through regeneration.

Challenge

2020 was Gather’s second year of working with U+I and producing its annual report . This year, in stark contrast to last year’s annual report, Gather were challenged to produce a more straightforward report, making a virtue out of less, reflecting the mood of the country during the Covid-19 crisis and finding a simple way of explaining U+I’s complexities.

Having delivered Phase 1 of their journey; the integration of their business, creating brand distinction and building their pipeline, U+I are now a year into into Phase 2; focused on delivery of their pipline, business efficiency and positioning themselves for the future.

Action

The objective was to tell the story of a business that has a clear vision, strategy and timeline to deliver on its financial targets. Due to the nature of its business, U+I has a lot of projects in the pipeline, most of which are quite complex. Historically, these have been presented in a way that has added to the complexity.

U+I has now refined and clarified its story and set itself three main objectives:

  1. Deliver on its existing pipeline
  2. Transition its investment portfolio; and
  3. Optimise its future

And, they have given each of its Executive Directors responsibility for delivery against each objective.

The 2020 annual report had to reflect the simplicity of this, keeping the U+I story clear and concise.

Strategy

This year’s report, ‘U+I in B+W’, reflects the clear story that U+I wanted to tell. It contains no colour and no grey areas.

The front of the report summarises this story; designed and written for the quick reader as a way to understand the U+I strategy quickly and efficiently. It is bold and brave and uniquely U+I, consistent with what’s being said elsewhere and, therefore, recognisable to U+I readers.

Each objective is ‘owned’ by the Executive Director responsible for its delivery. No photography is used and each Executive Director is depicted by a line drawing, keeping everything clean and linear. Linear drawings of projects are also used for case studies to provide context.

For the investors, analysts and anybody who wants to delve deeper into the U+I story, there are the ‘Useful + Insightful’ appendices, which sit after the summary. This section is a deep dive of everything contained in the summary section, drilling down into the detail and clarified by bold infographics, where necessary.

Business Model

The U+I business model shows that U+I is completely aligned with current macro and sector trends, providing them with a huge opportunity to invest in sustainable assets for the future. It balances high value, longer term returns from the PPP Portfolio with lower value quicker gains from the Trading Portfolio.

KPIs

U+I introduced four new non-financial KPIs in this report. These link to its ambition to build exceptional ESG performance in order to become best in class.

Covid-19

The impact of Covid-19 is a theme running through the entire report and reflects its longer-term implications.

Impact

This year’s Annual Report reflects U+I’s distinctive and purposeful approach to regeneration, complying with regulatory and legal requirements and demonstrating cost awareness and control. The black and white theme, with no photographs, is a stark difference to last year, helping to clarify the message while also being more fitting and impactful in current times.

This report emphasises the bold, creative and entrepreneurial outlook of U+I; a company driven by a true social purpose that is looking at a future that benefits everyone – the communities where it builds and its shareholders.

Services & contact

  • Peer group and content review
  • Content consultancy and strategy
  • Messaging development
  • Design
  • Production and implementation

People

Sandra Vico

Account director