My doubts about APRs began when someone I had not seen for two years, who lived and worked on a different continent than I did, wrote my APR. He wasn't my supervisor, nor was I told that he would write the thing.
I suspect that one thing the APRs achieve is to train people over the years to improve the appearance of their APRs.
I hated writing the things, and disagree with the practice on principle. I can not imagine that there has ever been a valid study that indicated that they improved organizational performance.