IR Magazine hosted its Europe awards ceremony on June 23 in which 27 companies from 12 different countries shared awards. This week we bring you the winners of the key categories and our take on why they excelled in the business. We also recommend looking at their IR websites to learn from their examples.
The IR Magazine Awards provide benchmarking for best in class IR materials and companies performing at the top at their game in terms of IR. Awards are splits into two category types: awards by nomination (self-nominated by the company) and researched awards (nominated by outside analysts/investors).
Winners in both categories are selected based on their ability to outperform their peers. Along with the nominees, they responded to the growing demand to inform investors about the risks, opportunities, and the overall landscape of their company.
The following are our thoughts on what set this year’s winners apart from other candidates, above and beyond best practices. We’ve selected key awards to discuss, and a full list of nominees and winners can be found here:
Best Annual Report (Large Cap)
Winner: Banco Santander (Spain)
Nominees: Ocado Group (UK), OMV (Austria), United Utilities Group (UK), Vonovia (Germany), WPP (UK)
The Santander annual report stands out for:
- Featuring a “data hub” that differs from the traditional financial information layout. It is interactive and easy to follow, showing results via graphs.
- The interactive digital annual review gives it a more personalized experience for the reader, for example you can listen to the CEO’s letter, choose the graphs you want to see, watch a video of overall year results, etc.
- Easy to read passages and very good multimedia provides a great user experience across all devices.
- There is a user-friendly audio version for the longer texts.
- All the charts and graphs are very easy to read and use bold colors, but still fit seamlessly in the color scheme of the presentation.
Best Annual Report (Mid Cap)
Winner: Balfour Beatty (UK)
Nominees: Aliaxis Group (Belgium), Garanti BBVA (Turkey), HUGO BOSS (Germany), Molten Ventures (UK), NORDEN (Denmark)
The Balfour Beatty annual report stands out for:
- The “Find Out More” feature allows you to quickly find the part of the report you are looking for.
- Effective use of images and a QR code that leads to a video about the company’s current progress.
- Features a Q&A with the Chair of Balfour Beatty with quick-fire questions that ask more personal questions, allowing the reader to get to know the Chair better and provides a different perspective, like questions toa bout his biggest influences and favorite past job.
- Clear figures, numbers, color scheme draw your attention to the key points.
- Quotes from the CEO related to ongoing performance and future expectations.
Best Annual Report (Small Cap)
Winner: Hollywood Bowl Group (UK)
Nominees: AB Dynamics (UK), EMIS Group (UK), Halfords Group (UK), MADE.com Group (UK), Naked Wines (UK)
The Hollywood Bowl Group annual report stands out for:
- Having a Q&A section with the CEO and Chairman.
- Detailed explanation of how all Hollywood Bowl customers are expected to engage with stakeholders.
- Detailed description of each financial statement including outlook and guidance. Possible risks to the business such as financial, operational, technical, and regulatory.
- A playful and bright design that fits the theme of their business of fun and enjoyment in ten-pin bowling and mini-golf.
- Easy navigation using the “Read more” feature.
Best ESG Materiality Reporting (Large Cap)
Winner: Banco Santander (Spain)
Nominees: Anglo American (UK), Intesa Sanpaolo (Italy), Novartis (Switzerland), Repsol (Spain), Schneider Electric (France)
Santander’s report effectively uses visual aids to help demonstrate their ESG commitments to readers, including what the ESG frameworks and commitments actually imply and their progress (see examples below):
Best IR Website
Winner: BASF (Germany)
Nominees: ABOUT YOU Holding (Germany), Banco Santander (Spain), Bunzl (UK), QIAGEN (Germany), Shell (Netherlands)
BASF website stands out for:
- An interactive Twitter news section. (See image below)
- Including a clear investor thesis on the main page, with good use of bolding and bullet points.
- Detailed automatically updating stock chart.
BASF could improve:
- It is missing an easily navigable top menu to explore IR materials, for example finding a previous quarters’ report is not straightforward. Investors are coming to this page to quickly access information and that is hindered by design.
- The site could improve by adding some infographics of major takeaways of quarterly/annual results.
Best Overall IR (Large Cap) – Researched Category
Winner: Intesa Sanpaolo (Italy)
Nominees: Allianz (Germany), ASML (Netherlands), Iberdrola (Spain), Novo Nordisk (Denmark), Vonovia (Germany)
Intesa Sanpaolo’s IR website stands out for:
- Website including shareholders guide, share performance, key figures database, ratings, etc. As well as interactive graphs for a personalized view of the company’s performance.
- Investors can request a dialogue with the Board of Directors directly on the website.
- Detailed information about economic and financial topics related to the company.
Best Overall IR (Mid Cap) – Researched Category
Winner: LPP (Poland)
Nominees: ASR Nederland (Netherlands), Barco (Belgium), Eregli Demir (Turkey), MERLIN Properties (Spain), Nordic Semiconductor (Norway)
LPP’s overall IR website stands out for:
- Website includes shareholding structure, management, bonds, video materials, and a history of dividends though the past years.
- Package for investors including an investor presentation, fact sheet, equity story and a factbook.
Best ESG Materiality Reporting (Mid Cap)
Winner: Biffa (UK)
Nominees: Barco (Belgium), Barratt Developments (UK), Britvic (UK), IP Group (UK), LANXESS (Germany).
Best ESG Materiality Reporting (Small Cap)
Winner: Watkin Jones (UK)
Nominees: Belvoir Group (UK), CCC Group (Poland), Foresight Group Holdings (UK), MJ Gleeson (UK), Savannah Energy (UK)
Best Investor Event (Large Cap)
Winner: Infineon Technologies (Germany)
Nominees: Adidas (Germany), Schneider Electric (France), Severn Trent (UK), Shell (Netherlands), Siemens Healthineers (Germany), Sonova Holding (Switzerland)
Best Investor Event (Mid Cap)
Winner: Endeavour Mining (UK)
Nominees: Helios Towers (UK), HUGO BOSS (Germany), LANXESS (Germany), SACYR (Spain), TechnipFMC (UK)
Best Investor Event (Small Cap)
Winner: eDreams ODIGEO (Spain)
Nominees: Augmentum Fintech (UK), CCC Group (Poland), Renewi (UK), RPS Groups (UK)
Best IR during a Corporate Transaction
Winner: Mercedes-Benz (Germany)
Nominees: CCC Group (Poland), Cellnex Telecom (Spain), Coloplast (Denmark), Moncler Group (Italy), Severn Trent (UK)
Best Use of Multimedia for IR
Winner: Ocado Group (UK)
Nominees: Augmentum Fintech (UK), Banco Santander (Spain), Deutsche EuroShop (Germany), MBH Corporation (UK), Mercedes-Benz (Germany)
Best Overall IR (Small Cap) – Researched Category
Winner: Norske Skog (Norway)
Nominees: Boozt Group (Sweden), CTT – Correios de Portugal (Portugal), Odfjell (Norway), SÜSS MicroTec (Germany), TAV Airports Holding (Turkey)
Norske Skog’s overall IR stands out for:
- Introduction page with an explanation on why invest in Norske Skog.
- Section with the company’s top shareholders and their number of shares.
As always, Miranda IR would be happy to help your company set itself apart from the competition by improving your investor relations strategy and products. Miranda Digital and Design is also available to redesign your IR website based on best practices.
Contacts at Miranda Partners