The financial statement ratios of Austrian businesses available on this website are the product of a cooperation between the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) and the Austrian Institute for SME Research (formerly: Austrian Institute for Small Business Research); www.kmuforschung.ac.at The calculation of the financial ratios is based on a joint sample derived from the entire stock of financial statements data the OeNB and the Institute for SME Research have at their disposal for the period under review. The financial statement ratios presented on this website are not directly comparable with those previously published in OeNB publications. They are characterized by the following features:
- Currently, altogether 38 ratios are available, broken down by sectors and size classes. For definitions of the financial statement ratios please see the link below (“Definitions of the financial statement ratios”).
- The underlying data material stems from different databases.
- The various ratios are organized according to the Austrian Statistical Classification of Economic Activities (ÖNACE) and are available in categories corresponding to the sections, (sectors) and divisions of the NACE classification.
- Assignment to a size class is based on turnover. There are five size classes with threshold values of currently EUR 1 million, EUR 7 million, EUR 40 million and EUR 100 million.
The statistical processing of data material continues to be based on an evaluation of median and quartile values; this method does not presuppose a normal distribution of data, but nevertheless indicates their dispersion.
The financial statement ratios for each business enterprise are calculated individually and sorted in ascending order. The middle value of these ratios is called the median: half the ratios are below and half of them are above the median. The quartile values, then, are located between the median and the extreme values: 25% of ratios are below the lower quartile (“LQU”) and 25% are above the upper quartile (“UQU”). Consequently, the area between the two quartiles contains 50% of all financial ratios.
Ratios derived from data sets containing less than ten observations have been excluded from publication on the internet. This is mainly due to
- the applicable data protection requirements
- the (in most cases) statistical inconsistency of such ratios and their consequently relatively low informative value concerning sectoral developments
Next to national ratios, the OeNB website also provides financial statement ratios for other European countries organized according to NACE sections and divisions. These data have been taken from the BACH – Bank for the Accounts of Companies Harmonized at www.bachesd.banque-france.fr.
Financial statement ratios for Belgian, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish and Austrian businesses have been published since September 2005. Over the past few years, Denmark, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic have joined BACH, although some of these countries currently only have observer status.
The ratios’ definitions have been largely harmonized according to the BACH methodology based on the Fourth Council Directive of July 1978. Nevertheless, the accounting documents made available by individual countries are not fully comparable. The ratios may thus serve as indicators for comparing economic developments in various countries against Austria, but certainly not as an absolute basis for comparison. Please note that the financial statement ratios of international businesses are based exclusively on the data of nonfinancial corporations.
Information on the BACH database is available on the Banque de France’s website too.