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Investor relations and careers – the continual weak spots of Spanish digital corporate communications

By Miguel Cruz de Oliveira

The 20th annual edition of Webranking by Comprend, the leading in-depth research in digital communications at major listed companies, found that Spanish listed companies have made slow progress in the way they communicate with investors and prospective employees.

See the full spanish result here

In the study, which covered 861 corporate websites from 25 countries, the online presence of 31 listed Spanish companies was mapped on the basis of 50 criteria summarising the expectations of corporate audiences such as the investment community, jobseekers and the press.The results were picked up by Spanish newspaper Expansión

As a company’s Webranking score is increasingly recognised as a proxy for corporate transparency, findings show that Spanish corporations need to try harder to give stakeholders the information they seek.

Even Repsol, this year’s best performer, could not have achieved better than 55% of the maximum score although it was well ahead of its closest competitors and clearly above the average of 16%. In Careers, where ArcelorMittal was a clear winner, the average score was 27% with three companies not scoring at all.

This year’s research covered the usual topics that define the effectiveness of corporate exchanges over digital channels ranging from company introduction themes to core subject matter such as financial reporting, corporate governance, investor relations, careers and corporate responsibility.

This year’s research also covered the access to information that tools such as responsiveness, search functionality and jargon explanation seek to improve. One encouraging development was the share of responsive sites which rose significantly compared with the year before.

Generally, Spanish companies were good at providing key information on the homepage of their corporate websites with roughly two-thirds of the companies surveyed offering two-thirds or more of the information requested.

Investor relations have a huge potential for improvement

The highest-scoring item in this section was “IR contacts” where companies hit an average of 36% of the maximum possible score. Whereas overview of corporate strategy reached 28%, equally important items such as financial targets, investment proposition and risk had much lower scores. Three companies only scored on information about targets and the extent to which they were achieved and one single company devoted a separate statement to the wisdom of investing in it.

Careers is – like in previous years – a mostly neglected item

Five companies, among which clear leader ArcelorMittal, scored above 50% in this section while the average score is 27%. Whereas information on skills development and diversity scores comparatively well, items such as information on the remuneration that candidates can expect, Employee testimonials and HR contacts fall seriously short of what stakeholders wish to know. Examples of this can be seen in HR contacts where only seven companies provided any information at all.

Financial reporting averaged above 50%

Although this was a section where companies obtained relatively high scores, as many as one-third of those surveyed did not score 50%, suggesting that the information provided fell short of the expectations of financial audiences. Companies generally did well on items such as PDF annual reports and financial presentations but many underperformed on tools such as financial calendars and online reporting, which are key communicating features.

Corporate governance barely scores on remuneration and insider transactions

The 36% average score on corporate governance hides varying performances in particular items. Although the provision of a corporate governance report as well as AGM and board information do reasonably well, hard data on board remuneration and transactions by insiders in the company’s shares are mostly lacking. On remuneration only 13% of the companies score at all while only two companies provide information on insider transactions.

Corporate responsibility varies widely between companies

Between top performers ArcelorMittal and Telefónica and the companies at the bottom of the table there are large performance gaps. While most companies could produce a CSR strategy and a CSR report, just a few could provide meaningful information about their responsible tax policy. Just over half of the companies scored on information about anti-corruption initiatives and only three of them achieved a full score.

Access from mobile devices benefits from a surge in website responsiveness

As people increasingly use mobile devices to visit websites, these are expected to enhance user experience with responsive design and high page-loading speeds. In 2016 close to 58% of companies offered responsive websites which was a clear progress compared with 32% the previous year. The downside to this was in mobile loading speeds as only 10% of the companies surveyed achieved a score considered as acceptable against 24% in the previous year and after a rise in standards. 

Webranking by Comprend 2016-2017 – Spain

Repsol conquered, as it has consistently done since the inception of the Spanish ranking, and achieved this year’s first place with 61.5 points. Retaining its position ahead of ArcelorMittal and Telefónica who placed 2nd and 3rd. Ferrovial advanced to 4th place from 5th last year and CaixaBank moved to 5th place from 10th last year after a 10-point leap. The average for the 31 companies surveyed was 38.0 points, gaining a slight progress compared with the year before.

Spain Top 20 – Webranking by Comprend 2016-2017

RankCompanyScore 2016Score 2015Change in score
Repsol 
61,5 
66,3 
-4,8 
ArcelorMittal  
59,6 
61,1 
-1,5 
Telefónica 
56,6 
56,8 
-0,8 
Ferrovial 
53,5 
49,0 
4,5 
CaixaBank 
49,5 
39,5 
10,0 
Amadeus 
49,3 
51,1 
-1,8 
Acciona 
48,1 
n.m. 
Iberdrola 
46,3 
47,2 
-0,9 
BBVA 
45,6 
44,3 
1,3 
10 
RedEléctricadeEspaña 
45,0 
47,6 
-2,6 
11 
Bankia 
41,3 
35,8 
5,5 
12 
Mapfre 
39,9 
22,1 
17,8 
13 
Gas NaturalFenosa 
39,6 
37,0 
2,6 
14 
Santander 
39,2 
33,7 
5,5 
15 
Endesa 
38,1 
33,4 
4,7 
16 
Inditex 
37,9 
39,8 
-1,9 
17 
Gamesa 
35,0 
- 
n.m. 
18 
Abertis 
34,8 
33,9 
0,9 
19 
Enagás 
34,4 
33,5 
0,9 
20 
DIA 
34,3 
31,3 
3,0 

Commenting on this year’s overall Spanish results, Miguel Cruz de Oliveira, Director – France, Spain and Portugal at Comprend, said:

“Information on investor relations and careers can definitely be expanded, which will in the end benefit Spanish companies. Fair valuation will increasingly be achieved as transparency pervades digital corporate communications, financial and otherwise. Technology must also be improved: while website responsiveness made steady progress, mobile loading performance went in the other direction. This must change if companies want to reach out effectively to their audiences.”

See the full Spanish results here

See also the article in Expansion

For further information, please contact Miguel Cruz de Oliveira, Director - France, Spain and Portugal at +351 919 935 833 or miguel.cruz.de.oliveira@comprend.com

Webranking

Webranking is Europe's leading survey of corporate websites and the only global ranking that is based on stakeholder demands. By identifying what the corporate audiences expect, we can help companies identify how to improve their corporate website content to better meet stakeholder needs.

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