In total, the frequency of sentences related to apparel industrial automation between July 2020 and June 2021 was 12% lower than in 2016 when GlobalData, from whom our data for this article is taken, first began to track the key issues referred to in company filings.
When apparel companies publish annual and quarterly reports, ESG reports and other filings, GlobalData analyses the text and identifies individual sentences that relate to disruptive forces facing companies in the coming years. Industrial automation is one of these topics - companies that excel and invest in these areas are thought to be better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to survive unforeseen challenges.
To assess whether industrial automation is featuring more in the summaries and strategies of apparel companies, two measures were calculated. Firstly, we looked at the percentage of fashion and accessories companies which have mentioned industrial automation at least once in filings during the past twelve months - this was 87% compared to 37% in 2016. Secondly, we calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to industrial automation.
Of the 10 biggest employers in the apparel industry, Yue Yuen Industrial (Holdings) Ltd was the company which referred to industrial automation the most between July 2020 and June 2021. GlobalData identified 12 industrial automation-related sentences in the Hong Kong-based company's filings - 0.4% of all sentences. Feng Tay Enterprises Co Ltd mentioned industrial automation the second most - the issue was referred to in 0.3% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high industrial automation mentions included Christian Dior, Hermes International and Pou Chen Corp.
Across all fashion and accessories companies the filing published in the second quarter of 2021 which exhibited the greatest focus on industrial automation came from Feng Tay Enterprises Co Ltd. Within the document's 2,285 sentences, 13 (0.6%) referred to industrial automation.
This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on industrial automation and how important the issue is considered within the apparel industry, but it also has limitations and should be interpreted carefully. For example, a company mentioning industrial automation more regularly is not necessarily proof that they are using new techniques or prioritising the issue, nor does it indicate whether the company's ventures into industrial automation have been successes or failures.
In the last quarter, fashion and accessories companies based in Asia were most likely to mention industrial automation with 0.14% of sentences in company filings referring to the issue. In contrast, companies with their headquarters in the United States mentioned industrial automation in just 0.03% of sentences.