Spanish results published
November 21, 2011

As a country, Spain climbed two notches in KWD Webranking’s 2011 survey of 950 websites in 40 countries. The scores of most Spanish companies slipped – some of them badly. Results show, however, that Spanish publicly traded companies excel in their communication of corporate responsibility. Findings also evidence that strategy falls short, financial goals are not disclosed and the display of stress scenarios seems to be a concern for one company only – Repsol. This is all the more worrying as this is the kind of information financial markets are looking for in these troubled times.

For the fifteenth consecutive year, KWD has surveyed the corporate websites of large listed companies to evaluate how they address the online information needs of their diverse institutional audiences.

Overall scores fall

Companies’ average score slid 3.3 points to 38.50 out of 100 points although Spain, as a country, moved up two rungs, to 11th place in 2011.

Online reporting is up and coming

Across western and northern Europe online annual reports are ubiquitous as 71% of market participants now find them important or very important. However, only Acciona, BBVA, Iberdrola and Repsol provided an HTML annual report with interactive tables to their target groups. Ebro Foods and Sacyr Vallehermoso delivered Flash-based annual reports, which focus on design rather than navigation or functionality.

Talent is not attracted online

At least, judging by career sections on corporate websites. The traditional application form is the rule rather than the exception and engaging content about opportunities is all but lacking. Testimonials from employees are a virtually unknown feature. This is all the more worrying as 44% of students or job seekers between 18 and 44 years old find short interviews with or statements by employees important or very important. Banco Popular, FCC, Mapfre and Red Eléctrica de España did not score at all and CaixaBank, otherwise a good performer, did not deliver more than job vacancies.

Investment case is a neglected concept

Investors look for the rationale for investing in a given company and Spanish companies seem to be unconcerned by that. Among the surveyed companies, no company provides an investment case online. Key items such as strategy, business model or risk management – let alone some form of useful forward-looking guidance – seem to be out of scope for Spanish corporate websites.

Content quality is an issue

Content in Spanish websites does not generally take account of the web medium’s specific needs. Because people scan rather than read when they face the screen, clear and concise web copy is an absolute requirement. But what we see instead is content which has been written for the printed media, itself consisting of long and dull text. Video messages are on offer from 11 companies.

Quick facts are missing

People such as journalists who look for useful, condensed information, have a hard time trying to find at-a-glance data in Spanish websites. Two-page fact sheets that provide instant information with supporting visuals about the company are rare. This is hardly in line with user expectations as 45% of market participants view a PDF fact sheet about the business, the stock, the management and the owners as important or very important.

How rankings have changed over the year

For the sixth consecutive year, Repsol was the winner. With a 10.25-point jump, Ferrovial was the steepest climber, moving from 16th to 2nd place. Telefónica shed 8.25 points and left the top 3. Banco Sabadell surged 5 points, rising from the 18th to the 7th position. One of the newcomers to the survey, Amadeus was 9th with 41.75 points. Abertis plummeted 11 points, moving down from 4th to 11th place. Santander dropped 10 points, falling from 7th to 17th place. Newcomers to the survey Ebro Foods, Prosegur and newly-floated DIA achieved 29.50, 23.50 and 20.75 points, respectively.

Rank 2011

Company

Score 2011

1

Repsol

81.75

2

Ferrovial

49.00

3

Iberdrola

48.50

4

BBVA

47.75

5

Acciona

46.50

6

Telefónica

46.00

7

Banco Sabadell

43.25

7

OHL

43.25

9

Amadeus

41.75

9

Enagás

41.75

11

Abertis

41.00

12

Gas Natural Fenosa

40.50

13

Inditex

40.00

14

ACS

39.75

15

Sacyr Vallehermoso

38.50

16

Red Eléctrica de España

38.25

17

Santander

37.50

18

CaixaBank

36.00

19

Ebro Foods

29.50

19

FCC

29.50

19

Mapfre

29.50

22

Grifols

25.50

23

Acerinox

25.25

24

Prosegur

23.50

25

DIA

20.75

26

Banco Popular

15.75

Average score

38.47

Staffan Lindgren, Managing Director International at KWD, said: “Repsol was the winner once again raising the bar for Iberian companies and making it to the Top 5 globally. In a determined bid to meet rising stakeholder needs, Repsol countered the overall downward trend and rose a full 3 points”.

“Spanish companies still have quite a way to go towards meeting the ever-increasing information demands from the investment community. No company discloses its financial targets and banks do not provide information on the outcome of stress tests, an item valued by investor audiences”, adds Staffan Lindgren.

In corporate responsibility, though, Spain is the leader among a group of 40 countries. Nevertheless, Lindgren cautioned: “Given the current economic uncertainty, people tend to put a premium on financial rather than sustainability information.”

Weak spots are employer branding (28% of full score on average), investor relations (29%) and press rooms (37%).

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