Russian corporate websites trail the European average
By Chris Henson
12 Russian companies were included in Webranking by Comprend 2019-2020, as they were amongst the 500 largest companies in Europe. Whilst the Russian standings are similar to last year - particularly at the top end of the list - the performance is disappointing, with scores dropping by an average of nearly 4 points (out of 100) and only two companies actually improving the content on their corporate websites. This does align with a general trend of decline across the continent, however. Several areas of Russian websites need attention, with particular improvement required in career, sustainability, and investor content.
Lack of improvement on last year's key challenges
Last year we flagged that over half of the ranked Russian companies did not use https on every page, and this remains the case in 2019-2020. Therefore web security is an ongoing issue when browsing Russian websites. This is a problem that companies should address with absolute priority, considering that corporate reputation is at stake.
Investor relations was another big challenge last year, and yet since then the overall average of important IR content on Russian corporate websites has decreased significantly from 24% to 16%. A lack of future-looking information on megatrends, market outlooks, and financial targets were denoted as the main areas to resolve as these are of critical importance to stakeholders in ascertaining a company's potential. However, the amount of Russian companies who have tackled megatrends (4%) and market outlooks (8%) is exactly as small as last year, whilst the amount who present their financial targets has regressed to zero.
Although Nornickel still have room for improvement, they are the owners of the best investor relations section in Russia. Furthermore, their website always uses https, so the company ticks the security box too.
Career content is in minimal supply
Russian career sections have not improved from last year's level, with the average Russian website only presenting 14% of the content that jobseekers look for, whilst a third of the ranked companies do not have a career section at all. Very often there are no job vacancies included on the website and little information on applying, which will naturally deter many potential candidates. None of the ranked Russian companies include employee testimonials and only two list a telephone number for the HR department, meaning that not only is insight on working at the company extremely limited, but there is also rarely a clear option to find out more. Russian companies also fail to present potential candidates with any figures on the diversity of their organisations, which ties in with another deficient area of their websites: sustainability.
Sustainability a perennial problem area
Russian sustainability has seen a minor improvement this year but there is nevertheless far too little data being provided in order that visitors can visualise company performance in context with their targets in environmental and social areas. These are key sustainability areas for not only capital market professionals but also jobseekers looking for potential employers to be good citizens, so Russian corporate websites should start to include this information with greater availability. To guide the topics included, companies could undertake a materiality analysis and present the results to show that the biggest sustainability priorities for different stakeholder groups are framing policy decisions. Just 8% of Russian companies currently provide any information about their work with materiality.
MTS is the Russian leader on sustainability this year, but even with a good strategy and transparent approach to compliance, they don't quite fulfill 50% of the most important criteria due to a lack of performance data.
Nornickel is the Russian Winner and Tatneft is the Climber of the Year
The podium of Russian Webranking is unchanged from last year, even though all three companies on it have dropped several points. Nornickel remain the winners for the second year in a row, standing atop the 12-company list with their score of 48.2. Lukoil are again the runners-up, with the score of 45.4 enough to maintain their place in spite of a 9.1-point decrease (the largest in the list). Gazprom round off the top three, and even with a 6.6 point decrease to 41.5 points, they still have a comfortable cushion to 4th place. The biggest climber in Russia was Tatneft, with a modest 2.9 point improvement sufficient to secure the title. They were one of only two Russian companies to improve in what was largely a year of regression.
|Rank||Company||Score (out of 100)|
|7||Sberbank of Russia||31.7|
See the Russian results