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November 17, 2017

French websites are becoming more responsive, but are still falling short on financial transparency

The French edition of Webranking reveals that French companies have become better in providing mobile responsive sites and internal search engines. At the same time, they are lagging their peers on financial transparency, for the fourth year in a row.

This year’s French edition of Webranking ranked 86 French companies to find out how well they meet the information expectations of the corporate audience. Vinci tops the list for the second year in a row, scoring 67.9 points out of 100 (compared to 66 last year). Michelin kept second place, scoring 61.5 points, and Axa climbs to third position after a substantial improvement since last year (+ 7.1 points, from 51.5 to 58.6). The overall average score for French companies is 39 points. To put this in context, top performer Finland has an average score of 59.1, which indicates that French companies still have a long way to go before meeting their stakeholder demands. 


Where French companies need to improve

French companies would benefit from improving their investor relations sections as this is their weakest spot, having an average fulfilment rate of 18%. Only one of the 86 French ranked companies shared information on financial risks on its website. Only four offered an updated outlook elaborating on performance-influencing factors such as, demand trends and competitor challenges.

Along the same lines, providing share information is also an area that French companies would benefit from making improving to. This year’s Webranking results reveal that information on French companies’ share is scarce and does not match what the investment audience expect to find. French companies barely cover topics such as share capital over time or movements in the company’s share price in response to outside events. More importantly, most companies do not elaborate on their shareholding structure.

In the corporate governance section, topics do not extend beyond the most basic information. Although most companies provide the name, title and picture of their board members and senior executives, only one French company publishes recent insider transactions. Remuneration is also omitted as a rule and only Vinci, the country’s top performer, provides updated remuneration data. 

Where French companies are performing well

French corporate websites are living up to the increase in demand for responsive sites. Since last year, the number of ranked websites that are responsive have increased from 61% to 83%. 84% of the websites are also printer friendly.

Internal search engines have gone up from an average fulfilment rate of 32% to 49% in one year. This is a direct effect of making it easier to find the code of conduct and annual reports.

There are both highlights and areas of improvement in the way French corporate websites communicate their sustainability work. Corporate websites have improved the way they are explaining their sustainability strategy and its relationship to the overall corporate strategy. However, the disclosure of tax payments in different countries is as rare as last year, with insurer Axa remaining the only company providing this type of information.

Rank Company Score
1 Vinci 67.9
2 Michelin 61.5
3 Axa 58.6
4 Airbus 55.2
5 Arkema 54.7
6 L'Oréal 53.2
7 Air Liquide 51.6
8 BNP Paribas 51.3
9 Sanofi 50.3
10 LafargeHolcim 49.7


Do you want to know more about the results? Contact Viktoria Enmark, Head of Webranking, at +46 76 109 05 08 or viktoria.enmark@comprend.com.