IR Magazine recently hosted its virtual European awards ceremony. This week we bring you the winners of the key categories and our take on why they are considered the best in the business. We also recommend taking a look at the IR websites of the winners to learn from their examples.
The IR Magazine Awards provide benchmarking for best in class IR materials and companies performing at the top of their game in terms of IR. Awards are split into two category types: nominated (self-nominated by the company) and researched (nominated by outside analysts/investors)*.
The winners in both categories are selected on their ability to outperform their peers. Along with the nominees, they have met the growing demand to inform investors of their company’s risks, opportunities, and the overall landscape.
The following are our thoughts on what set this year’s winners apart from the competition, 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: AstraZeneca (UK)
Nominees: Anglo American (UK), BASF (Germany), InterContinental Hotels Group (UK), Polymetal International (Russia)
The AstraZeneca report stands out for its:
- Summary website of the report which captures key information, is visually appealing, and reads like a magazine.
- The report’s color scheme which has good contrast and pulls the reader’s eyes to key figures.
- The ‘at a glance’ section which makes it easy to compare performance across regions.
- Communicating a clear and coherent message that AstraZeneca is science-led and patient focused, through both quotes and imagery.
- Effective use of the scroll function.
Best Annual Report (Mid Cap)
Winner: Hays (UK)
Nominees: Assura (UK), Britvic (UK), Garanti BBVA (Turkey), National Express (UK), Synthomer (UK)
The Hays annual report stands out for its:
- Key extract from CEO comment on the homepage.
- Effective use of the scroll function.
- Concise strategic priorities and investment case.
- Expanding sections and links to “read more” enable easy navigation.
- Detail provided on sector megatrends.
Best Annual Report (Small Cap)
Winner: Halfords (UK)
Nominees: Barco (Belgium), Implenia (Switzerland), Naked Wines (UK)
The Halfords annual report stands out for:
- Telling a flowing story.
- Being easy to navigate: “next” and “previous” buttons at the bottom of each page as well as links and a comprehensive drop down menu.
- Providing highlights initially as well as the link to read more on a specific topic.
- The investment case, which is concise yet detailed.
- The breakdown of services and products as well as cycling vs motoring.
Best Crisis Management
Winner: BBVA (Spain)
Nominees: Airbus (France), Boohoo Group (UK), Enel (Italy), Polymetal International (Russia), Royal Dutch Shell (UK)
Best ESG Materiality Reporting (Large Cap)
Winner: Polyus (Russia)
Nominees: ArcelorMittal (Luxembourg), BASF (Germany), British American Tobacco (UK), Polymetal International (Russia), Schneider Electric (France)
Something that immediately stands out when looking at Polyus’ materiality is that this company links its various material topics to global principals and initiatives such as the United Nations’ SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and UNGC (Global Compact), as well as the ICMM principles, GRI, and the impact on their SAM ESG rating. This is relevant because as ESG standards have developed over time, an overwhelming number of organizations and frameworks have made it confusing for investors and companies to disclose their efforts. Polyus does the work for us and demonstrates how these converge across the company’s strategy. Last but not least, the best part: page numbers. Telling readers where they can find content on a certain material topics is incredibly helpful.
Best ESG Materiality Reporting (Small & Mid Cap)
Winner: Barco (Belgium)
Nominees: Cembra Money Bank (Switzerland), EN+ Group (UK), Greencore Group (UK), Rotork (UK), TechnipFMC (France)
Barco chose to report its materiality within an integrated and interactive website report format (with a PDF also available), which helps readers navigate across the multiple sections of its disclosure. We are big fans of reporting materiality in a matrix format, which is the most visually telling to understand where certain topics lie in their potential impact on the company’s long-term success and importance to stakeholders. Barco’s matrix takes it a step further by being interactive as well, allowing readers to filter material issues by category. A link is also provided to the PDF with detailed descriptions for each topic. This is helpful because companies often have their own way of interpreting very universal issues, and greater specificity is always welcome.
Best Investor Event (Large cap)
Winner: Vodafone Group (UK)
Nominees: Aegon (Netherlands), BAE Systems (UK), Enel (Italy), Novartis (Switzerland), Severstal (Russia)
Vodafone created a web page so that all the materials used as part of the event were available and easily accessible after the event. This allows investors and analysts to access the key information that interests them, and we believe that this is the way forward for virtual events. They also provide a transcript of the Q&A session, allowing investors and analysts to search for key topics if they were unable to attend the event in person or want to review something.
Best Investor Event (Small to Mid-cap)
Winner: Nexans (France)
Nominees: Akbank (Turkey), Gerresheimer (Germany), Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (Russia), QIAGEN (Germany), Technip Energies (France)
Nexans provides the individual powerpoint presentations used as part of the event as well as the full recording of the event. It was a high quality production and there are three screen views available for the replay (full screen video, full screen powerpoint and split screen). Being a French company, in addition to the event in English they provided French interpretation, making it more accessible to their home market.
Best IR during a Corporate Transaction
Winner: Flutter Entertainment (Ireland)
Nominations: BBVA (Spain), Novartis (Switzerland), OMV (Norway), Valmet (Finland)
Best IR Website
Winner: Valmet (Finland)
Nominees: Ocado Group (UK), Pearson (UK), Polymetal International (Russia), Royal Dutch Shell (UK), Vodafone Group (UK)
Valmet’s website stands out for:
- Being simple and direct.
- Having a popular links section and stock market information on the homepage.
- Its mobile site which is clean and easy to navigate.
Valmet could improve:
- Too many sub menus, which creates additional clicks and page loads.
- ESG information is not easy to find.
- The site is part of their regular site, so all of their header menus are there, where there could be other helpful menu options for investors.
Best Use of Multimedia for IR
Winner: BBVA (Spain)
Nominees: Banco Santander (Spain), Laboratorios Farmacéuticos ROVI (Spain), PATRIZIA (Germany), Valmet (Finland)
BBVA’s Interactive Analysis tool is a great way for investors to engage with results. The tool enables interactive data visualization, allowing users to compare figures over past quarters for different regions, significant ratios, and key financial data points, amongst others. The unique views that investors generate can then be exported as a PDF or Excel document. Along with the interactive tool, BBVA has excellent use of imagery, graphs, data viz, and photos of stakeholders throughout their presentations and reports.
Best Overall IR Large Cap
Winner: Novo Nordisk (Denmark)
Nominees: Allianz (Germany), AstraZeneca (UK), Iberdrola (Spain), Intesa Sanpaolo (Italy), UniCredit (Italy)
Best Overall IR Mid Cap
Winner: Cyfrowy Polsat (Poland)
Nominees: CCC (Poland), LPP (Poland), Subsea 7 (Luxembourg), UDG Healthcare (Ireland), X5 Retail Group (Russia)
Best Overall IR Small Cap
Winner: Aker Solutions (Norway)
Nominees: eDreams ODIGEO (Spain), Ocean Yield (Norway), Odfjell (Norway), Pegasus Airlines (Turkey), Supermarket Income REIT (UK)
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 (websites, reports, investor events etc.).
- *Nominated Categories: Individuals and companies submit written entries to a panel of experts, made up of investment professionals and IR Magazine editorial members, who decide the winners.
- Researched Categories: Nominees are selected by hundreds of analysts and portfolio managers who independently cast their votes for who they think provides the best IR services across Europe.
Here is a list of links to the winners’ IR websites not mentioned above:
Contacts at Miranda Partners