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Your task focuses on the evaluation of two companies in the cosmetics industry Zest Ltd and Peel Ltdand making an evidenced case to clients as to the financial health and performance of each company.

Section B: Assessment Brief and Requirements

You are part of the new intake of trainee consultants working for Marlow Plc, one of the world’s leading financial consultancies. A senior consultancy team has been assigned to this project, but it has been decided to allow you to shadow the consultancy team for work experience purposes.

Your task focuses on the evaluation of two companies in the cosmetics industry Zest Ltd and Peel Ltdand making an evidenced case to clients as to the financial health and performance of each company.

You may wish to draw upon a range of other factors and information in arriving at a conclusion of the performance of the company given the data for each company from the most recent financial year.

Your analysis should include the calculation and interpretation of relevant financial ratios and other performance indicators. You should place your analysis in the context of the current and immediate future economic and business landscape of the company.

Marlow Plc has provided your team with the following financial data (in £000) for the last financial year of each company both with the year-end of 31st May 2023:

Requirement 1: [20% of marks available]

Select and calculate for each of the companies detailed above, 15 relevant ratios that provide insight into the following aspects:

  • Profitability (4 ratios)
  • Efficiency (3 ratios)
  • Liquidity (2 ratios)
  • Gearing (2 ratios)
  • Investment (2 ratios)

Your selected 15 ratios should be taken from the module study materials within lectures, seminars, and the specified core textbook, to analyse the financial position, health and performance of each company.

Use Year-end figures rather than averages and work to 2 decimal places for percentages and multiples, and to the nearest whole day when calculating numbers of days. Do note for any ratios you calculate the marks available for each ratio are for correct figures only.

Requirement 2: [80% of marks available]

  1. Derived from your ratio analyses in Requirement 1, prepare a report that: examines the financial performance and financial health of each company for the year ended 31st May 2023. [50% of marks available]
  2. outlines the associated caveats and limitations of comparing financial results of two different companies. [20% of marks available]
  3. identifies any other information that would be instrumental when reading the report and making strategic decisions going forward. [10% of marks available]


  1. You are required to state an accurate word count on your front title page.
  2. The whole assignment should be no longer than a maximum of 1,500 words. You may use fewer words if you wish to. Any charts and diagrams may be pasted as images and will not be included in the word count. All and any tables/ratio templates/ financial statements must not be pasted as images.
  3. Bibliographies and lists of references are not included in the word count.

Section C: Module Learning Outcomes covered in this Assessment

This assessment contributes towards the achievement of the following stated module Learning Outcomes as highlighted below:

  • nderstand and interpret accounting information using financial ratios.
  • Appreciate the lack of certainty in accounting figures and the problems of choosing among equally logical and consistent accounting techniques.
  • Dissect and critique financial ideas, applications and consequences and outcomes of those applications.

Section D: Group work Instructions (where relevant/appropriate)

Not applicable

Section E: How your work is assessed

Within each section of this assessment you may be assessed on the following aspects, as applicable and appropriate to this assessment, and should thus consider these aspects when fulfilling the requirements of each section:

  • The accuracy of any calculations required.
  • The strengths and quality of your overall analysis and evaluation;
  • Appropriate use of relevant theoretical models, concepts and frameworks;
  • The rationale and evidence that you provide in support of your arguments;
  • The credibility and viability of the evidenced conclusions/recommendations/plans of action you put forward;
  • Structure and coherence of your considerations and reports;
  • Appropriate and relevant use of, as and where relevant and appropriate, real world examples, academic materials and referenced sources. Any references should use either the Harvard OR Vancouver referencing system (see References, Citations and Avoiding Plagiarism)
  • Academic judgement regarding the blend of scope, thrust and communication of ideas, contentions, evidence, knowledge, arguments, conclusions.
  • Each assessment requirement(s) has allocated marks/weightings.

Student submissions are reviewed/scrutinised by an internal assessor and are available to an External Examiner for further review/scrutiny before consideration by the relevant Examination Board.

It is not uncommon for some students to feel that their submissions deserve higher marks (irrespective of whether they actually deserve higher marks). To help you assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of your submission please refer to UCL Assessment Criteria Guidelines, located at
https://www.ucl.ac.uk/teaching-learning/sites/teaching-learning/files/migrated files/UCL_Assessment_Criteria_Guide.pdf

The above is an important link as it specifies the criteria for attaining 85% +, 70% to 84%, 60% to 69%, 50% to 59%, 40% to 49%, below 40%.

You are strongly advised to not compare your mark with marks of other submissions from your student colleagues. Each submission has its own range of characteristics which differ from others in terms of breadth, scope, depth, insights, and subtleties and nuances. On the surface one submission may appear to be similar to another but invariably, digging beneath the surface reveals a range of differing characteristics.

Students who wish to request a review of a decision made by the Board of Examiners should refer to the UCL Academic Appeals Procedure, taking note of the acceptable grounds for such appeals.

Note that the purpose of this procedure is not to dispute academic judgement – it is to ensure correct application of UCL’s regulations and procedures. The appeals process is evidence-based and circumstances must be supported by independent evidence.

Section F: Additional information from module leader (as appropriate

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