As an employee in small manufacturer in the UK, I've recently observed the Operations Director (basically our top dog), making use of another companies Profit and Loss reports during at least one conference call.

This is combined with our Sales Director investigating said other companies profits, and both disappearing to outside meetings in full suits. Normal office is Shirt & Trousers, and in general, our customers and suppliers come here.

The other company makes similar products to us, but in a different sector.

I'm probably over-reading this, but what are the likely reasons for this? My first reaction is that we could be buying that other company. I'm wondering if the reverse is possible? Are there any other likely reasons for using Profit and Loss reports?

Why am I asking? I'm genuinely curious, and I'm also wary of a major change that could affect my job, since I have a family. If the possibility suggests there might be a risk to my job, I want to have at least a plan of action to minimise the impact on the family.

Its not something that i've heard being discussed in the open as yet, so I'm not in a position to be asking the direct question.

This may not be a suitable question as the actual answer (What is going on?) is not knowable, but I'd like a second opinion on the possibilities.


For what purposes could a controller of a business use another company's Profit and Loss report?

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    Do you know / suspect the other company is in the same line of work as you and your manager? He might be comparing you against their rivals. – user34587 Oct 23 '18 at 7:32
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    I know they manufacture a similar base product, but use theirs in another industry. – Stese Oct 23 '18 at 7:33
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    "making use of another companies Profit and Loss reports" - how? When I first read it, I thought they were trying to pass of the other company's P & L as their own. It sounds not, after reading the question, but how were they "making use of another companies Profit and Loss reports"? – Mawg says reinstate Monica Oct 23 '18 at 7:47
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    @Mawg Apologies, I don't know exactly how the reports are being used. ALl I know is they had been specifically printed out and made available to the director for at least one conference call. I'd be very confident they aren't being used for illegal purposes. – Stese Oct 23 '18 at 7:50

For benchmarking purposes. To compare your business with this company's business and optimize your processes. If the company is comparable with yours in terms of products it's a perfect benchmarking candidate.

For strategy purposes. Your company may be trying to understand the strategy of the other company better to predict its moves and react appropriately. For example, maybe the other company is planning to start producing your type of products and the management is trying to estimate how big the threat to your sales is.

Alternatively, your company is thinking about starting a cooperation with this organization (i.e. in procurement or marketing), or about taking it over. Maybe you want to have a joint venture or buy a patent from the company?

Or the other company is not compliant with the law/ infringed on your patent or similar and your company is trying to figure out for how much damages you should sue them/ how the penalty will influence the other company's business.

There are many options.

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