No, I’m not back!

It has been a while since I said goodbye, but on the other hand I never really left. As announced our primary focus is on energy now and recently we started a new series about the production, import and export of energy in a series of European countries. The subject is very different from annual reports and so are the sources, but the graphs will look familiar: a chessboard-like pattern of buildings, showing all kinds of ratios.

Throughout the weeks countries will be added. For now only Germany and France are in, but it is already interesting to see the differences and changes over the decades and the UK will be added soon. The links to the real 3D-graphs are in the captions of the screenshots now, but that’s probably the only difference. Well, the location of the blog is also different of course:

If you are interested in energy as well, just have a look!

Photo by Quang Nguyen vinh
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Goodbye! But not really…

In the most recent series of posts we were discussing the direction we could and should go (quo vademus, meaning “where are we going?”). Finally we decided that we will keep the generator the same. Technically that is, because the instructions on the screen will change eventually. After three years of illustrating the power of our 3D-graph generator in finance (with some side-steps now and then), we decided to focus at energy. Visualisation of energy is better done in 3D, because this will show all kinds of ratios at a glance. After all the 3D-graphs are meant for visual mining!

Changing our primary market also meant changing our name and from now on we will work with the name EnRep3D – Energy Represented in 3D Graphs (not around anymore, like AnRep3D: is covering it all now) and the new blog is found at Indeed it’s just the replacement of one letter, but the subjects will be very different. Probably some readers who are interested in finance will be interested in energy as well. If so, let’s meet again! If not, I just want to thank you for your interest throughout the years. Of course the 3D-graph generator-package AnRep3D can still be downloaded for free, without any registration. The whitepaper and related set of 3D-graphs is still available and so are our YouTube-videos.

Photo by RA at Unsplash
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Quo Vademus III

Suddenly I thought of a third option: apart from moving forward in technology and switching market focus, it is also possible to go back in time.

Time passing by

Time – photo by Gerd Altmann on Pixabay

Of course it’s not done to go back, but let me explain. I always was very fond of the power of the language VRML. Originally VRML stood for Virtual Reality Markup Language (just like XML is eXtensible Markup Language  – also derived from the old GML), but soon it became Virtual Reality Modelling Language. That’s basically what it does: it is able to create spatial models in a computer. These models can be looked at from different angles and of course a lot of calculating power is needed, but nowadays that’s not an issue. A major drawback, however, is that a VRML-viewer is needed. In the beginning a couple of well-known viewers were around. Cortona and Blaxxun Then a very powerful VRML-viewer called FreeWRL was available (.wrl is the extension of VRML-files, hence the name).

It was all very promising and Virtual Reality was coming up again (it’s like nuclear fusion, isn’t it?). I was experimenting with stereoscopy and shutter glasses with an NVidia-set, but things were changing fast – too fast.

Working with VRML and publishing .wrl-files, I noticed that the threshold too look at the real graphs was too high, because such a viewer was needed. Nobody would download and install one. That was many years ago. Try and find “VRML” or “3D” in the Google playstore now and you will be sursprised. Probably the threshold has gone with all those apps. Beware, most of the apps I didn’t try myself and if I did, it was a much older version.

Back then it was different. One by one the VRML-viewers disappeared and some didn’t even support all features, like background, text or viewpoints. VRML was officially declared “legacy” and its successor was X3D, but nobody knew the language. Only one very expensive book was available (I had to learn it first of course) and most viewers didn’t support it (and today we know VRML is still alive and probably more alive than X3D ever was).

That’s why I decided to to move to HTML5 instead. Most readers will know HTML, but version 5 had special properties and supported JavaScript. I hate JavaScript, because it’s chaotic and confusing. Not like Algol, Pascal, Ada, Java, C or Lisp from my perspective (as said before, although I am able to write functional pieces of code I’m not a software engineer and I always need the help from my sons).

Fortunately I discovered a way out! A cloud-service or actually a community, called X3DOM offered a service, translating a kind of X3D dialect (I had to learn it after all, but a document about the standard used was available) into JavaScipt – on the fly! This meant our generator had to create a kind of X3D-file with an X3DOM-call and immediately JavaScript would come back and be shown in the web-browser. It was very funny to see the output-file coming from the AnRep3D-generator and the code saved by right-clicking the browser-screen. Below I show two pieces of the code as an illustration.

First the pure geberator-output:

   ANREP3D visualisation
  http ://
  <link rel=’stylesheet’ type=’text/css’ href=’http ://’></link>
  <style>x3d { background: rgba(160, 160, 220, 1); } </style>
  <x3d width=’1200px’ height=’670px’>
    <transform translation=’ 0.5 -4 0 ‘>
      <material diffuseColor=’  1  1  1  ‘> </material>
            <box size=’ 1 0.1 0.1 ‘> </box>

Then the actual code processed by the browser (modified by X3DOM:

<meta http-equiv=”content-type” content=”text/html; charset=UTF-8″>
   ANREP3D visualisation
  http: //data_oil14_files/x3dom.js
  <link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”data_oil14_files/x3dom.css”>
  <style>x3d { background: rgba(160, 160, 220, 1); } </style>
  <x3d width=”1200px” height=”670px” style=”width: 1200px; height: 670px;”>
   <scene render=”true” bboxcenter=”0,0,0″ bboxsize=”-1,-1,-1″ pickmode=”idBuf” dopickpass=”true”>
    <transform translation=” 0.5 -4 0 ” render=”true” bboxcenter=”0,0,0″ bboxsize=”-1,-1,-1″ center=”0,0,0″ rotation=”0,0,0,0″ scale=”1,1,1″ scaleorientation=”0,0,0,0″>
     <shape render=”true” bboxcenter=”0,0,0″ bboxsize=”-1,-1,-1″ ispickable=”true”>
      <appearance sorttype=”auto” alphaclipthreshold=”0.1″>
      <material diffusecolor=”  1  1  1  ” ambientintensity=”0.2″ emissivecolor=”0,0,0″ shininess=”0.2″ specularcolor=”0,0,0″> </material>
            <box size=” 1 0.1 0.1 ” solid=”true” ccw=”true” usegeocache=”true” lit=”true”> </box>


It’s also nice to show a piece of old VRML-code, from the predecessor of the current 3D-graph generator:

#VRML V2.0 utf8
Viewpoint {position 105 525 840 }
Background { groundColor [0.7  0.7  0.7 ]
      skyColor [ 0.5  0.5  0.5 ] }
Transform {
translation 105 68 -420
 children [
Shape {appearance Appearance
 {material Material
  {diffuseColor  1  1  0  transparency 0.1} }
 geometry Box
  {size 28 136 70 }
 }   ]}
Transform {
translation 105 139 -420
 children [
Shape {appearance Appearance
 {material Material
  {diffuseColor  0  1  0  transparency 0} }
 geometry Box
  {size 28 5 70 }
 }   ]}

In all three cases the first part of the output-file was taken.

For me the idea of “going back” meant working with VRML again. The viewers are more powerful, because it is possible to look at the graphs stereoscopically. Anaglyph or double images (left eye, right eye). When the CRT monitors disappeared I had to drop the stereoscopy, because a normal LCD-screen won’t work with shutter glasses. FreeWRL offers stereoscopic images and I tried with a headset and a mobile phone, but then the generator was rebuilt for HTML5.

Enthusiastically I opened one of my old .wrl-files. At first it was a trip down memory lane. Revisting all the old and long forgotten attempts to design 3D-graphs. Encountering the prototypes in QuickBasic. Several files had “AEX” or “business” in their names (AEX is the index for the Dutch Stock Exchange), but as a matter of fact all kinds of weird patterns came up. Below a collage of screenshots.

One attempt I remembered. It was a combination of the stock prices of companies in the index’s basket, together with the index itself. A screenshot is presented below. No use to make it clickable.

3D visualisation of stock exchange dataIt didn’t last long. It was hard to work with the 3D-image in the viewer. In HTML5 double clicking will just change the viewpoint, but now I was confused. OK, I was able to look at the graph from different angles, but it wasn’t enough. It seems I’m addicted to the new, simple 3D-graphs, presented in a normal web-browser. Turning, tilting, zooming in and out, changing viewpoints (the instructions were shown with every clickable screenshot in the previous posts) – it’s all very easy!

No, going back to the old VRML is definitely not an option and neither is moving forward to new technnologies and languages. This means the second option is the valid one: changing from finance to energy. Let’s have a look at some interesting 3D-graphs again in 2021!

The AnRep3D-generator can still be downloaded for free as a zip-package with examples of input and output and a manual. Videos, blogposts, examples, white-paper and so on can also be found at our website!

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Quo vademus II

Quo vademus – where are we going? Previously I discussed the option to change the application and use other technologies than the current Java-jar with X3DOM for the 3D visualisation. It is a valid option in general, but because I lack the technological skills to even make the right choices when it comes to programming environments, it’s probably not a valid option for me.

Yet there is another possibility. When the original concept of AnRep3D was developed (the first primitive sketches were made about fifteen years a go), I was focusing at the financial market and I have been doing so for most of the time.

Sketch for AnRep3D concept

Very old drawing to show the concept of AnRep3D (with comments in Dutch)

Over 90% of the posts and 3D-graphs were about finance, but a small number was showing the power of the 3D-graphs in other areas. From time to time I mentioned the possibility to keep the code unchanged, but adjust the texts in the interface and rewrite the manual to switch to the energy market. I am familiar with energy and provided some examples in the past. AnRep3D could become EnRep3D. Not “Annual Reports visualised in 3D-graphs”, but “Energy Represented in 3D-graphs”. Only one letter to be changed, a new website and of course a new jar with an updated manual would do. Last time I said I could write a book instead of of annoying myself with code. Well, rewriting the manual is close to writing a book, isn’t it?

Of course I cannot be sure if the issue is the concept (if so, nothing will help – probably I’m too early), the technology (then I have to collaborate with people compensating my lack of experience in programming) or the market (energy instead of finance could mean a fresh start).

Let’s face it: when it’s about the concept, then AnRep3D is lost and it might be better to leave it alone, but how would I know? The technology is not a very likely option to be honest. AnRep3D is a tool for professionals and I’ve worked with and observed several tools for profession, being much more complicated than AnRep3D. Sure, the user interface is not for consumers, but we never aimed at consumers. Business only and that won’t change.

In the end, switching the market might be a valid path. The quesion is still: Quo vademus – where are we going?


Photo by David Reig Fernàndez on Unsplash

The AnRep3D-generator can still be downloaded for free as a zip-package with examples of input and output  and a manual. Videos, blogposts, examples, white-paper and so on can also be found at our website. Remember, currently it is about finance, but that might change in the future. Let’s see!

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Quo vademus

Quo vademus – where are we going? That’s the question for AnRep3D right now. It was already shared on Twitter, but the message won’t have reached the full audience of this blog. A lot of readers reading this are coming from LinkedIn, so I repeat that no new posts have been planned for a while. Of course that’s a contradiction, because this is a blog-post after all. What I meant however, is that no new series illustrating the possibilities of AnRep3D will be started anytime soon. In short: no new 3D-graphs to be expected here for a while.

Snow in Italy

Photo by danfador on Pixabay

Why, you might ask? Well, the first reason is Return on Investment. Yes, I know it’s free software, but here I’m talking about time invested versus recognition of the value of the concept. Creating a new 3D-graph is a matter of seconds, but finding the sources and collecting the data can take an hour. Then looking for the right angle, selecting pictures and actually writing and thinking is even more time-consuming. The time invested on average is about three to four hours a week. The expected return was to get feedback on the use of the generator at least once for every post, but it’s very silent now. The main purpose of this blog actually is to have interaction and get feedback, but it seems like interaction is fading. I don’t refer to interaction on Twitter or views of this blog, but feedback about the actual use of the AnRep3D-generator.

The other purpose of this blog is to provide all kinds of examples, showing what the 3D-graph generator is capable of. By now there is an extensive white-paper, offering a more structured approach and still a whole list of posts on very different subjects, mostly offering a real 3D graph to be watched and manipulated in a browser. No need for more of the same, I think, as I would only start to repeat myself – hence the stop.

Daylight Mining

Photo by shibang on Pixabay

AnRep3D is about visual mining. Visual Mining uses the power of the human visual system to discover patterns. Similar to what machine learning does, but the human eye and related parts of the brain are still more powerful and more accurate than computers are. The only way to perform visual mining with the help of AnRep3D is to create one’s own graphs (using own data that is) and look for patterns. There we encounter an issue. We would love to hear from people who processed their own data and looked at the resulting 3D-graph, discovering new patterns. Unfortunately, that’s the part I am missing! My WordPress- and Google-stats show that people from all over the world are reading the posts, look at the 3D-graphs and visit our website and downloads happen from time to time, but there it becomes a bit obscure.


Photo by Skylar Kang on Pexels 

Although I am very experienced in working with the generator myself by now, I can imagine there is still a threshold to actually use the generator – the first one being the download.  The idea was to lift the Java-code and make the AnRep3D-generator a web-application, to lower this hurdle. I looked at several options, but most of the low-coding and no-coding environments are very primitive (or really expensive). The results are somewhere between shopping lists and front-ends for databases. AnRep3D is a bit more complicated. Something like Java Applets is too complicated for me as I’m not an engineer. I could code my concept only with the help of one of my sons (in Java) and for the JavaScript in the 3D-graph I call the cloud-service X3DOM. ShinyApps is the only one looking very promising. Nice buttons and sliders could replace the parameter-line and the content of an input-file can be pasted in a window. However, it will take me a lot of time to move to a new environment and I could also use the time to write another book. Let’s see. For now the question remains: “Quo vademus – where are we going?”


Photo by Free-Photos on Pixabay

The AnRep3D-generator can still be downloaded for free as a zip-package with examples of input and output and a manual and videos, blogposts, examples, white-paper and so on can also be found at our website!

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Is the volume meaningless? An example with critical metals, including REEs.

In several previous posts I warned to avoid comparing volumes when looking at the 3D-graphs. This was because the “buildings” were representing very different values in their three dimensions. Ratios can be determined by looking at such a graph by comparing two dimensions (e.g. width and depth), but the volume – being the product of e.g. revenue, equity and total assets – is meaningless from an accounting point of view. And so are the surfaces, by the way.


Photo by Matthias Böckel on Pixabay

Although it’s an important warning, it doesn’t apply to all visualisations to be made with the help of the 3D-generator! In some cases the three dimensions can be multiplied and then the volume will have a meaning after all.  If we break down a value in three dimensions, making the volume meaningful, we can easily compare values we cannot show in a simple bar-graph.


Think about a series like 10, 15, 25, 100, 125, 175, 500, 1200, 10000. It would be boring to show them in a bar-graph (left).


Presenting those values s a volume however, will be much more interesting and now comparisons can be made because height, width and depth will be like (or equal to) the cubic root of the values. In short: when it is allowed to multiply height, width and depth, the volume has a meaning. This is another strength of 3D-graphs we didn’t reveal before.

To present a nice example, I took the annual production of some critical metals. A lot of so called “Rare Earth” metals are in this set (neither rare nor earth as the latter used to refer to the Boron-group) and then some others like Cobalt and Lithium. Below a concise overview will be presented.

Before we go on, I have to disclose that I hold some positions in REE-related companies. Yet the only purpose of this post is to show the power of 3D-graphs! 

The 3D-graph will present real volumes of materials traded. Although we are talking about critical metals – including the “rare earth elements” (REEs), the trading is usually done with their oxides (Rare Earth Oxides – abbreviated REO – be aware that not all metals in the graph are REEs). Two exceptions are Cobalt which is traded as a pure metal and Lithium, mostly traded as a carbonate (kind of soda).

What will be in the 3D-graph? We will show the annual consumption volume of oxide (cubic metres) at the front row (represented by the volume of the blocks) and at the second row the amount of tonnes (weight). The tonnes-row will show larger buildings, because the density of most oxides is between 6.5 and 8.5 g/cm3 (or tonnes per m3). Be aware that if the density is 8 g/cm3, this will mean that the length, width and depth of the “building” for the volume will only be half of those values for the weight, since 2 x 2 x 2 = 8! This time I thought it would be fun to make all buildings green (entering four times the same cubic-root value). The only exceptions are the red reference-buildings showing 10000 m3 and 10000 tonnes respectively (same size of course, because here the artificial “density” would be 1).

Some properties of the metals for which the annual consumption is shown in the graph:
– Yttrium: Atomic weight 39. Used in superconductors and exotic light sources.
– Lanthanum: Atomic weight 57. Used in specialty glasses and optics, electrodes and hydrogen storage.
– Cerium: Atomic weight 58. Makes an excellent oxidizer, used in oil cracking during petroleum refining and is used for yellow coloring in ceramics and glass.
– Praseodymium: Atomic weight 59. Used in magnets, lasers and as green color in ceramics and glass.
– Neodymium: Atomic weight 60. Used in magnets, lasers and as purple color in ceramics and glass.
– Gadolinium: Atomic weight 64. Used in magnets, specialty optics, and computer memory.
– Dysprosium: Atomic weight 66. Used in magnets and lasers.
– Samarium: Atomic weight 62. Used in magnets, lasers and neutron capture.
– Europium: Atomic weight 63. Makes colored phosphors, lasers, and mercury-vapor lamps.
– Terbium: Atomic weight 65. Used as green in ceramics and paints, and in lasers and fluorescent lamps.
– Tantalum: Atomic weight 181. Used in electornics, alloys and orthopedic implants.
– Scandium: Atomic weight 21. Used to strengthen aluminum alloys.
– Cobalt: Atomic weight 59. Used in lithium-ion batteries, magnetic, wear-resistant and high-strength alloys, deep blue color: glass, ceramics, inks, paints.
– Lithium: Atomic weight 7. Used in lithium-ion batteries, alloys, ceremics, pharmaceuticals.

For those who want to know more about these valuable elements, the links below might be useful. Link 1, Link 2, Link 3, Link 4, Link 5 and Link 6

How did I get the annual consumption for all the metals (or their oxides)? Well, it is not easy to get the numbers and often the values are contradicting – or at least they don’t match. The annual global consumption of REOs seems to be around 158000 tonnes (in 2018 – it’s increasing every year). In an article by Goodenough Wall and Merriman I found a pie-chart showing the distribution (also changing but at a slower rate). That one I used to derived the individual values. Then using the commonly available densities I calculated back to m3. The other values – like for Cobalt and Lithium – were found on the internet. Of course the values will have high error-margins, but again: this post is only meant to illustrate the power of 3D-graphs. As usual, the input-file is available. Finally the result is shown below.Consumption of metals in 3D

Double-clicking the screenshot will open the 3D-graph in your browser. Beware: the graph haw so many “buildings” that zooming out is necessary to see the whole picture! Clicking the right mouse-button and moving the mouse up and down at the same time, will zoom the graph in and out. For maniputalion of this 3D-graph: Clicking left while moving the mouse will tilt the graph in different directions. Double clicking in the graph translates it and readjusts the centre at the same time. Just try it – If you don’t know how to get the normal position back, refresh the page in your browser.

To see the relative sizes of the buildings a top-view is helpful, but remember that the the volumes have to be compared and not the surfaces!

Metal consumption 3D top-view

Don’t forget to download your free copy of AnRep3D at our website. Short tutorials, explaining different parts of AnRep3D are available at our Youtube-channel The white-paper and inspirational graphs can be downloaded at our website Follow @AnRep3D on Twitter, to be informed about new posts.


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COVID-19 – we cannot ignore it IX – Microsoft (series completed)

Finally we added Microsoft to the graph, but…  it is a huge company – more like BP or Munich Re. This means all companies had to be presented together again. Of course this will make the small ones almost invisible, but then the previous 3D-graph showed those already, so it’s time for the big ones now – with Microsoft among them. I have to admit that it wasn’t easy to take all the necessary numbers from all documents, because Microsoft has a broken book-year. Not just broken, but actually shifting half a year and as a result e.g. 2020 is a combination of 2020 H1 and 2019 H2. To get the semi-annual numbers for the second half of the year we had to take Q1+Q2, but for the first half we had to take the annual values and subtract the Q1+Q2 values (being Q3 and Q4 in the normal calendar). I’m rather good at numbers, but time always confuses me. Yet I managed to get everything in the input-file.

Small step aside: for every blog-post I look for a nice picture, somehow related to the subject. The three sites I prefer are pixabay, pexels  and unsplash (thank you photographers!). Today I was looking for Microsoft and also related words like Laptop, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Computer, Azure, Surface and Xbox. For some reason the photographers on these sites seem to think “Laptop” is a synonym for “Apple”. Then the other pictures were the most uninspiring ones I ever encountered. To be honest, even the pictures of Microsoft offices were quite boring. It seems like somehow Microsoft is an uninspiring company, but look at its Cash-flow! In the end I found a photo which was clearly related to Microsoft.

Photo by Carlos Gil on Unsplash

OK, back to Microsoft itself. What can be observed, looking at the new 3D-graph? Well, we know the green (or red) roof represents the Cash Flow from Operating Activities, but Microsoft is not like the others at all. Half the building being green can hardly be referred to as a “roof”. It’s unbelievable, especially when compared to BP with similar revenue (bit higher), equity (bit lower) and liabilities. Actually I thought I made a mistake, so I checked again and again.

Then I remembered that we looked at Microsoft before in the series “Data is the new oil”. Although there profit instead of cash-flow was shown, I still wondered why it the roof was quite normal there. Looking at the profit throughout the years it turns out 2018 (used in the previous graph) was a “bad year”, obviously because of some additional costs. With such a “bad year” still looking completely normal, one can imagine what the other years would be like. Indeed, what we are showing in this post starts in 2019 – being a “good year” again. No mistakes, just a matter of different periods!Microsoft finance in 3D

Double-clicking the screenshot will open the 3D-graph in your browser. Beware: the graph haw so many companies that zooming out is necessary to see the whole picture! Clicking the right mouse-button and moving the mouse up and down at the same time, will zoom the graph in and out. For manipulation of this 3D-graph: Clicking left while moving the mouse will tilt the graph in different directions. Double clicking in the graph translates it and readjusts the centre at the same time. Just try it – If you don’t know how to get the normal position back, refresh the page in your browser.

Although Corona and COVID-19 are mentioned several times, it’s not clear what the impact “has been for Microsoft in the first half of 2020. The declarations are rather vague, but then we have the highlights of the 2020 fiscal year (H2 2019 + H1 2020):

Highlights from fiscal year 2020 compared with fiscal year 2019 included:
  • Commercial cloud revenue increased 36% to $51.7 billion.
  • Office Commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 12%, driven by Office 365 Commercial growth of 24%.
  • Office Consumer products and cloud services revenue increased 11%, with continued growth in Office 365 Consumer subscribers to 42.7 million.
  • LinkedIn revenue increased 20%.
  • Dynamics products and cloud services revenue increased 14%, driven by Dynamics 365 growth of 42%.
  • Server products and cloud services revenue increased 27%, driven by Azure growth of 56%.
  • Enterprise Services revenue increased 5%.
  • Windows Commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 18%.
  • Windows original equipment manufacturer licensing (“Windows OEM”) revenue increased 9%.
  • Surface revenue increased 8%.
  • Xbox content and services revenue increased 11%.
  • Search advertising revenue, excluding traffic acquisition costs, was relatively unchanged.

Personally I think Microsoft profited from the pandemic, but that’s just my opinion. Just have a look at the green “roofs” for 2019 H1, H2 and 2020 H1…

Don’t forget to download your free copy of AnRep3D at our website. Short tutorials, explaining different parts of AnRep3D are available at our Youtube-channel. The white-paper and inspirational graphs can be downloaded at the homepage of our website and follow @AnRep3D on Twitter, to be informed about new posts.

As this post completes the series about Corona, the next one will be completely different. It will take some time because of the Christmas holiday-period. Then I noticed that the number of visitors of the website – especially the number of downloads for the free software-package is dropping, although this blog is visited frequently. Please have a try and use the software yourself and let us know what you think! Commercial use is also OK, so don’t be afraid. Of course we are not responsible for the 3D-graphs  created by our software and their potential impact.


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COVID-19 – we cannot ignore it VIII – Netflix

Today another representative of an industry that might profit from the pandemic: Netflix. With people staying at home for more hours than before the lock-down, we see jigsaw-puzzles, knitting equipment and tools and materials for home-improvement becoming more popular. We expect people also to watch more movies and series and then Netflix would profit from the situation.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Again the Annual  and Quaterly reports were all in USD, hence no calculations. We agreed to take revenue, cash-flow from operations, equity and total liabilities and those could be obtained very easy. As promised the input-file is available (the output-file is the 3D-graph itself, of course – a .htm-file) and everybody who wants to try the 3D generator can download the full package for free – even without providing an email-address. It’s completely anonymous! If you like it I would appreciate if you drop me a line of course.

At a first glance, the conclusion might be that Netflix is really impacted in a positive way by the situation around COVID-19. Two red roofs in 2019 and suddenly a firm green one in 2020.

Double-clicking the screenshot will open the 3D-graph in your browser. Beware: thegraph haw so many companies that zooming out is necessary to see the whole picture! Clicking the right mouse-button and moving the mouse up and down at the same time, will zoom the graph in and out. For maniputalion of this 3D-graph: Clicking left while moving the mouse will tilt the graph in different directions. Double clicking in the graph translates it and readjusts the centre at the same time. Just try it – If you don’t know how to get the normal position back, refresh the page in your browser.

If we would have taken the net income, then all roofs would have been green and the more recent, the thicker. The funny thing is that the revenue for 2020 H1 was only slightly higher than for 2019 H2, so what’s going on? (Be aware that a red roof means the height of the building represents the total costs/cash outflow and the yellow part is the revenue. If the roof is green, it’s a part of the revenue).

Well, we know that Netflix invests a lot in their content and that’s really expensive. By the way:  they have to buy the content to be able to put it on the balance-sheet, because for content developed themselves that would not be allowed. Think about the major difference with the software-companies we wrote about in the past in comparison with e.g. Volkswagen. Buying content means a net outflow of cash, but not necessarily a decrease in net income, because the value remains in the company. It’s an investment! And what has happened with the investments during the three half years we show?  The Cash-flow statement has an entry called “Additions to content assets” (Q2 2020 statement – In the annual report a note is available for this topic). For our three periods the values are:

2019 H1

2019 H2

2020 H1

6.3 mln.

7.6 mln.

5.8 mln.

Keeping 1.8 (7.6 – 5.8) million in you pocket helps, although it doesn’t fully explain the sudden increase in cash-flow from operations, because that’s a change of over 3 mln. but it certainly helps.For the people who are curious and want to create an alternative graph: try and replace the cash-flow from operations with the net income as shown below:

2019 H1

2019 H2

2020 H1




Was this really a post about the financial upside of Corona? It wasn’t that easy to tell because so many things are changing with Netflix and in the end the revenue went up but then Netflix is growing anyway!

The financial input for 2020 H2 was taken from a spreadsheet. Because of this I didn’t see comments about COVID-19. A little bit later I found the 2020 Proxy and looked for relevant comments. I found something, but it was merely an operational statement: In connection with the recent COVID-19outbreak, management, with the support of our Boardand Audit Committee, quickly engaged, assessed andled our efforts to mitigate operational, employee andother risks to our business associated with thepandemic.

Then I found a post on Forbes telling us that Corona is bad for Netflix. I think that’s more what the graph tells is. The revenue is not exploding at all and although the cash-flow from operations went up – mainly because of cost-reduction. The profit (create the alternative graph yourself!) is rather stable.

Next time we will present the last industry profiting from the pandemic: information technology. Don’t forget to download your free copy of AnRep3D at our website. Short tutorials, explaining different parts of AnRep3D are available at our Youtube-channel The white-paper and inspirational graphs can be downloaded at the homepage of our website: Follow @AnRep3D on Twitter, to be informed about new posts.

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COVID-19 – we cannot ignore it VII – Tesco

Let’s move to the industries that might profit from the pandemic. We cannot know for sure of course, but entertainment, information technology and grocery-stores are candidates for the positive impact part of this series. It’s easy to say that we are leaving the doom and gloom behind, but let’s not forget that both Munich Re and BP were still doing rather well and showed a green roof (positive cash-flow from operations) in 2020. BP was left out because it is too large, but Munich Re is left out because of its huge liabilities (quite normal for a financial institution) as this affected the overall 3D-graph too much (stretching it out from front to back). Bombardier with its negative equity is still shown as a set of hollow boxes and Qantas and Wyndham will also stay, showing their red roofs for 2020.

Photo by Simone Hutsch on Unsplash

How is Tesco doing? It’s a British company, so the amounts in GBP had to be converted to USD. This was done with the help of xe. It turned out that Tesco has a very special broken book-year. This must be some British tradition as the year 2020 starts at the first of March, but the mid-year ends after 26 weeks creating dates like 29th of August 2019 and 24th of August 2020. We will ignore this and present the semi-annual amounts as if they were in the same periods as the others.

And now for the big question: did they do well? Looking at the graph we can see rather tall buildings (high revenue compared to equity (width) and total liabilities (depth) and the roofs are green. The revenue for H1 2020 is lower than for H2 2019, but very similar to H1 2019. Supermarkets usually have a higher turnover at the end of the year so this will bias the graph. The upside is that we don’t see a collapse in H1 2020 when compared to H1 2019 and the thickness of the related roofs is similar. Actually it’s slightly thicker in 2020, but there is also some financial juggling going on so we cannot be sure without a thorough investigation. I leave that to you as I don’t have time for it. Of course you can create you own 3D-graph using (and probably improving) the input-file for this post in combination with our free 3D-graph generator (even no email-address required, just a download).3D-graph showing Tesco semi-annual results

However, looking in more detail from the top, the equity went slightly down and the liabilities went up a little bit – even in comparison with H1 2019.

Top-view of 3D-graph Tesco results

In the end it looks like Tesco has been resilient, without really profiting from the pandemic. In the end the half year report H1 2020 tells what has been going on:

Cash profitability

  • Response to COVID-19 leading to £(533)m 1H UK costs as we prioritise customer and colleague safety
  • Retail operating profit before exceptional items and amortisation of acquired intangibles4 of £1,192m, +4.4%, margin 4.2%; – UK & ROI volume and business rates relief offset COVID-19 costs; CE held back by COVID-19 costs and new Hungarian tax – UK & ROI £1,133m, +6.4%, margin 4.3%

– Central Europe £59m, (23.4)%, margin 3.0%

  • Bank operating loss before exceptional items £(155)m driven by provision for potential bad debts and reduced income; continue to expect operating loss of £(175)m-£(200)m this year; capital ratios and liquidity remain strong
  • Retail EBITDA8 £1,994m, +4.1% higher YoY

Retail and bank-part respond differently, but in the end the Retail profited, despite the additional costs for safety measures.

That was it for the first post about the financial upside of Corona. Next time we will have a look at information technology and then (home) entertainment. Don’t forget to download your free copy of AnRep3D at our website Short tutorials, explaining different parts of AnRep3D are available at our Youtube-channel The white-paper and inspirational graphs can be downloaded at the homepage of our website. Follow @AnRep3D on Twitter, to be informed about new posts.

Photo by Matheus Henrin from Pexels


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