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November 30, 2021 Webranking

Dutch companies need to include more information about the shares

By Freja Nilsson

In this year's Webranking, the average score for the Dutch companies has dipped by 5.3 percentage points which means that the average score now is slightly below the European average. Dutch companies provide clear navigation structures but need to improve information about the shares. They also need to explain which megatrends they predict will affect them.

In this year's Webranking, we have ranked the 27 largest companies in the Netherlands to evaluate how well they meet stakeholder needs and expectations. Since last year, the average score for all ranked Dutch companies has dipped by 5.3 percentage points and is now 41.4, slightly under the European average. None of the ranked companies has received above the recommended 60 points that a company should get to be seen as fulfilling stakeholder expectations sufficiently, even though Royal Dutch Shell are close with their 59.8 points.

Clear navigation structures

The Dutch companies have performed best when it comes to their websites' technical features and functionalities, especially when it comes to the layout and navigation of the websites. 67% of the ranked companies provide easy navigation systems with smooth transitions. To make it as easy as possible for the users to find the content they are searching for, it is of utmost importance to provide a clear navigation structure.

ASML provide a navigation structure that is placed on the side. The main menu contains few items, and the second-level menu has a manageable amount of items as well. There is also a short introductory text to each section which makes it clear what kind of information the user can expect to find. It is also helpful that a search function is included in the menu; if you don't find the content you are looking for in the menu, it is easy to search for it.

Screenshot of ASML's navigation menu

Clearly divided reporting sections

Dutch companies also perform well in providing material from financial reports and presentations, and they have extensive reporting archives. Stakeholders are often interested in reading financial reports, so it is of high importance to provide a reporting archive that is well-organised and easy to navigate. Additional material other than the actual reports should also be included, such as presentations and webcasts from investor meetings.

Royal Dutch Shell include a clearly divided reporting section with links to all relevant information such as the annual report, sustainability report, and analyst estimates. Royal Dutch Shell also provide an interactive data tool containing many different kinds of financial data.

Screenshot of Shell's reporting page

Few companies explain which megatrends will affect them

As in the case of most European countries, Dutch companies struggle with meeting stakeholder expectations when it comes to providing Investor Relations information. The Dutch companies have on average received 20 points, compared with the European average of 25 points.

Many Dutch companies miss to include an explanation of which megatrends they predict will affect the companies' business. According to stakeholders, this is essential information; 89% of the respondents of Comprend's Capital Market survey find information about megatrends and growth drivers important.

Royal Dutch Shell present a dedicated page about how they predict the future of transportation will look, including an informative video. Also, Royal Dutch Shell clearly explain how they are prepared to adapt to the changing transport needs in the future and how they are working towards becoming more sustainable.

Screenshot of Shell's website

More information about the companies' shares is needed

Another challenge for Dutch companies lies in providing sufficient information about the companies' shares. The companies have on average received 32 points, while the European average is 36 points.

For example, none of the ranked Dutch companies presents how many of the shares are owned by socially responsible investors or divide the shareholders by geographical distribution. Many investors are interested in this information.

The companies do a better job presenting the dividend history; 60% include this information which is 10% better than the European average.

DSM present the historical overview of their dividend payments in both graphs and tables. They also include a dividend calculator tool as an additional function.

Screenshot of DSM's dividend payments

The Dutch top performers

Royal Dutch Shell continue to be the best performing Dutch company, especially when it comes to providing material related to reporting and sustainability communication.

Heineken have moved up one placement from third place last year and are also strong in sustainability communication. They also include extensive About us pages, including a clear presentation of their business strategy.

ASML Holding have like Heineken climbed up one placement since last year's ranking. ASML are the best performing Dutch company when it comes to providing About us information. They are also strong in reporting and careers information.

The best climber is Akzo Nobel with an improvement of 7.3 points, climbing up from 15th place to 5th place. Akzo Nobel include good sustainability and reporting information.

Top 10

1Royal Dutch ShellEurope 500, UK, Netherlands59,8
2HeinekenEurope 500, Netherlands53,2
3ASML HoldingEurope 500, Netherlands51,1
4UnileverEurope 500, UK, Netherlands49,0
5Akzo NobelEurope 500, Netherlands48,3
6DSMEurope 500, Netherlands48,2
7ArcelorMittalEurope 500, Luxembourg, Netherlands, France, Spain47,9
8INGEurope 500, Netherlands47,8
9AirbusEurope 500, France, Germany, Spain, Netherlands47,7
10AegonEurope 500, Netherlands47,5

See the full Dutch results list or read more about the Webranking report.

Helena Wennergren

Helena Wennergren

Senior consultant


+46 70 971 12 10

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