October 21, 2021 Webranking

UK corporate websites continue to perform below the European average

We have ranked the corporate websites of the UK's 200 largest companies to evaluate how well they meet the needs and expectations of their stakeholders, such as analysts, investors, jobseekers, and the media. A conclusion that can be drawn is that UK companies continue to struggle to keep up with their European peers. It is mainly the information provided about the companies' shares that is lacking, for example, not many companies provide dividend policies.

In this year's Webranking results, UK companies continue to perform under the European average. UK companies fulfilled on average 38% of all criteria while the European average is 44%.

Five years ago (2016-2017), UK results were almost on par with Europe 500. Since then the gap has increased, peaking last year. This year UK companies have improved slightly by 2%, however, the explanation to this might be as simple as the fact that there were fewer, but larger companies in the list. This year we analysed the 200 largest companies compared to 286 last year. The average market cap was around 12 B EUR vs 6 last year, meaning that the smaller companies tend to get a lower score.

Biggest area for improvements - information about the share

The information provided about the companies' shares is the area where UK companies perform worst compared to their European peers, on average by -10 %. For example, UK companies do not provide information about major shareholders and responsible investors - something that 88% of the respondents in our Capital Market Survey find important. Information about share capital development and estimates from the analysts that are following the companies is also missing. Dividend policies are also something that is more rarely found on UK websites. As 91% of the respondents of our Capital Market Survey find dividend policies important, it is concerning that not many UK companies provide this information. Of all 200 ranked companies, 156 do not provide a dividend policy on their corporate websites.

How the lack of information on UK corporate websites impacts the share price

Features and functionalities one of the strengths

UK companies perform closest to the European average in Webranking's Features and functionalities section, which includes criteria about the website's technical performance as well as navigation and layout principles. UK companies perform especially well in the site architecture and navigation section, scoring slightly above the European average on all criteria. The best-performing companies in this section are BP, Unilever, and HSBC.

HSBC's website has a clean and consistent layout. The landing pages of each section are clearly divided into blocks linking to more information.

Screenshot from HSBC's website

Good media archives

One of the UK companies' better areas is their media archives where they perform above the European average. Companies that perform especially well in this criterion are British Land, AstraZeneca and Next.

British Land's media centre contains press releases, news as well as insights from their blog. It also contains the latest posts from their social media channels.

Screenshot of British Land's media archive

Read our previous article about how to structure your media archive

The top performers in the UK

This year, Royal Dutch Shell have taken BP's place as number one on the UK list while BP finish as number two. New in the top three section is Vodafone Group who have taken Coca-Cola HBC's place as number three. Coca-Cola HBC come in fifth place this year. The best climber is Trainline who have improved their score by 13.2 points, thanks to improved sustainability and careers information.

RankCompanyListsSectorScore
1Royal Dutch ShellEurope 500, UK, Netherlands6010 Energy59.8
2BPEurope 500, UK6010 Energy55.8
3Vodafone GroupEurope 500, UK1510 Telecommunications54.4
4CentricaEurope 500, UK6510 Utilities54.2
5Coca-Cola HBCEurope 500, UK4510 Food, Beverage and Tobacco53.2
6Rolls-Royce HoldingsEurope 500, UK5020 Industrial Goods and Services52.5
7British LandEurope 500, UK3510 Real Estate52.0
8HSBCEurope 500, UK3010 Banks51.0
9Polymetal InternationalEurope 500, UK5510 Basic Resources50.7
10AstraZenecaEurope 500, UK, Sweden2010 Health Care50.3
10InformaEurope 500, UK4030 Media50.3

See the full results for the UK companies

John Lovell

John Lovell

Business Manager

john.lovell@comprend.com

+44 (0)20 8609 4914

James Handslip

James Handslip

Managing Director (UK)

james.handslip@comprend.com

+44 (0)20 8609 4908