Shire - Annual report


By combining with Baxalta, Shire became the leading global biotech company focused on rare diseases. It is bigger, stronger, broader, more impactful, but the focus remains the same: to meet the needs of the millions of people around the world affected by rare diseases.

Shire asked MerchantCantos to help them articulate the new messaging, new visual identity and setting new objectives for the future. From a reporting perspective, the team was keen to improve the integration of their strategic story throughout the report, building on the regular progress made in previous years.


This year, due to its new FTSE20 status, Shire was under more scrutiny from investors and analysts as well as internal audiences. While investors and analysts are the main audience, the annual report is an opportunity to showcase Shire’s vision, strategy and, most importantly, how their purpose is realised by enabling patients with rare diseases to live more fulfilled lives. Over the years, the annual report has become a reference for employees, physicians and the media.


New sections such as key industry trends and a restructured business model following best practice were added for the first time. Shire’s four strategic drivers were introduced early in the narrative to aid navigation throughout the report and signpost an integrated story up to, and including, the remuneration report. Particular emphasis was placed on the remuneration section to ensure clear disclosure and communication of the policy and the report itself with connection back to the business context and strategic drivers. The human side of the story is showcased through impactful full spread patient case studies, re-telling their journey from sometimes long undiagnosed conditions finally identified to life-changing treatments.


A milestone in the history of Shire, 2016 marked a deep transformation for the business, with complex integration challenges. The annual report focused on a unified story, a sharp focus and a clear visual expression that communicated a forward-looking message to all audiences. Shire is already thinking about the next step of its development.