European companies getting better at serving the press
Looking back at the results from Webranking by Comprend in 2013, the stakeholder fulfilment regarding press section was at a measly 35%. This year’s number is another story: 54%. European companies are getting better at serving the needs of the capital market, primarily business journalists, and jobseekers. Although press sections has seen a bigger increase in stakeholder fulfilment than other types of information in the past five years, there’s quite a way to go to 100%.
The main gap between what stakeholders want and what the companies provide is within the press release archive. Besides providing an actual archive, features such as proper time stamps, filtering between categories and are missing. The gap becomes even more evident when taking in to account that this is seen as important by stakeholders, primarily business journalists and the capital market audience. By providing this information, companies would be able to greater extent help stakeholders find the information they look for, and in a place where the company themselves can make sure that they own the message.
Out of the 500 companies in the list, Wärtsilä not only receives a full score for their press section, but manages to present in a user-friendly way.
Present the unicorn: sustainability data
Information about sustainability is becoming increasingly more important according to Comprend’s surveys and the European companies knows that this is important to stakeholders: presenting a sustainability strategy is becoming common place amongst the European companies. Having a strategy in place is one thing but backing it up with data, in a user-friendly format, is taking it to another level. Presenting sustainability information in a stand-alone or integrated PDF report is common practice when looking at the results but lifting this data to HTML is less common as only 16% of the companies do this. By lifting the information to a web and user-friendly format, the content will be readable on the individual stakeholders preferred device and the numbers will be searchable.
Snam presents all the wanted sustainability data and more, complemented by graphs for better comprehension.
Corporate citizenship through transparency
Being sustainable as a company isn’t only about environmental and social data. Being mindful and responsible towards operational regions is important. Minding the size of the companies included in this list, many of them operate on an international level. In light of recent years’ revelations, such as the Panama papers, it’s surprising to see that only 10% of the European companies disclose their tax payments for different countries in figures. Regarding their work against corruption, only 33% disclose their actions. In other words, there’s an opportunity to become more transparent for European companies.
Investors are missing goals, both passed and coming
The European companies’ IR pages is on average not faring so well: the average stakeholder fulfilment this year is 29%, a number that has seen only a slight increase the past five years. Considering the importance of the capital market audience for listed companies, this number should be taken seriously.
According to our surveys, one of the most important pieces of content wanted is financial targets and achievements in numbers, which is presented by 15% of the European companies. Disclosing this information would greatly aid investors and analysts in making qualified decisions regarding their potential and already made investments. Especially presenting these numbers, both targets and achievements, with explanations on how to reach them and how they’ve been reached is what is missing. No wonder that IR contacts are highly sought-after in our surveys.
When it comes to investor relations, Eni is the ranked company with the highest score. They provide a wealth of content complemented with visual aid in the relevant places.
Less than 20% present their approach to digitization
A new criterion surveyed by Comprend this year is whether companies present their approach to digitization or not. Basically, are companies presenting their approach to transforming their business when it comes to meeting a digital future. To ensure investors that a company is equipped for the future, this information needs to be in place. According to Comprend’s Capital Market Survey, the average importance for this content was 3.5 / 5. The average fulfilment was at 19% although there are big differences from country to country. While some countries don’t have any companies presenting this information, in the Nordics, Italy, Germany and Switzerland, at least a fourth of the companies present this content. Norway is on top at 40%, closely followed by Germany at 38%.
One company stands out regarding digitization, and that is BASF. The have a full section of their website dedicated to digitization where the concept is linked to their value chain and complemented with infographics for better comprehension.
Top Performers & Climber
This year top three features names familiar to top placements in Webranking by Comprend. Eni, rising from 2nd place last year, is this year’s winner with a score of 93.2 points. The first runner up, Wärtsilä, also climbs the podium a bit further this year and ends up in 2nd place with a score of 92.5 points. Last year’s winner Snam has been pushed down to third place, with a score of 91.3 points.
This year’s climber in the Europe 500 ranking list is Swiss Prime, which saw an increase of 31.4 points from last year.
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