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December 11, 2017 Webranking

German companies are becoming better at communicating financial information and sustainability initiatives

The results from the German edition of this year’s Webranking are here. The findings reveal that in line with popular demand, German companies are becoming more transparent. Since last year, they have become better at providing both financial information and information on their work with sustainability. However, with an average overall score of 48.6, they still have improvements to make before they will have achieved the standard stakeholders want. 

For the second year in a row, BASF stands as the winner of the German edition of Webranking, scoring 75.6 points out of 100. This is an increase of 4 points since last year. Bayer, who arrived in third place last year, have increased their score by 3 points which makes them this year’s runner up. Deutsche Telecom arrives in third place with 67.1 points. 

See the full German results here

Meeting the demand for financial transparency

In times of increased demand for transparency among stakeholders, German corporate websites are amid the few to have ameliorated their performance in providing financial transparency since last year. Ranked German companies have increased their fulfilment of the average score in investor relations by 5% in one year. They have gone from meeting 31% of the demand to meeting 36% this year. This indicates that they still have a long way go before achieving complete fulfilment, but that they have taken a step in the right direction. Highlights within investor relation information includes the improvement in presenting information on investments and/or divestments (acquisitions and disposals). Here German companies have gone from fulfilling on average 29% of the full score last year to this year 71%. An impressive advance in line with the stakeholder demand.

German companies have also become better at providing information on why to invest in their companies, going from a 32% fulfilment rate to 45% in one year. This is information that 90 % of the asked stakeholders holds as very important (rating it 4 or 5 out of 5). 

Highlights in sustainability communication

An new trend for many countries ranked in in this year’s Webranking is providing sustainability information. This is also the case for ranked German companies. Since last year, they have increased their average fulfilment for this section by 11%, from 31% to 42%. This is a direct effect of becoming better at providing a CSR strategy (from 52% to 64%) and providing separate CSR reports (an increase from 31% to 54% in one year). Although German companies have become slightly better at providing information on CSR targets and achievements (up 3% since last year) they would benefit from continuing to improve this as they are currently meeting 25% of the full score for the required criteria.  

Don’t underestimate your social media channels

Using social media to promote or inform about reports (annual and interim) have decreased in popularity during the last year. The number of companies that have published posts with content regarding reports has decreased from just above half of the ranked companies (51%) last year to 37% of the ranked companies this year. This is a somewhat surprising decrease as Comprend’s capital market survey shows that 47% of stakeholders interact with corporate social media regularly. The number is even higher for jobseekers, where 65% state that they do so on a daily basis. It appears providing company information in more places than the corporate website is a fruitful way of reaching the target audience, something to bare in mind for German companies. 

3Deutsche Telekom67.1
4Munich Re65
10Deutsche Post60.2

See the full German results here

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.