Home » Austrian transparency results witness a drop, alongside their European counterparts

09/02/2021

By: 

Elisa Leimer

Austrian transparency results witness a drop, alongside their European counterparts

The 15th edition of the Austrian edition of Webranking, conducted by Lundquist and in collaboration with Comprend evaluates the performance of the 21 largest Austrian companies listed on the ATX. As was the case with much of Europe, there was an overall decrease in the average Austrian performance this year partly due to an introduction of accessibility requirements and the evaluation of companies’ communications around Covid-19 and its effect on the business.

The number of companies that pass the stress test has almost halved compared to last year with only 24%  of the companies evaluated surpassing the half-way mark (50 points), the minimum score to be able to satisfy stakeholder needs.

Webranking 2020-2021

24rd international edition
15th Austrian edition
21 companies ranked in Austria
6 new companies in Austrian list
800+ companies ranked globally
400+ stakeholders interviewed

Webranking Austria 2020

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Accessibility to provide a transparent digital experience for all

The demand for companies to provide an accessible digital experience to all their stakeholders is rising, in part thanks to efforts being made in the EU on a legislative level. This means creating content that can be read by auxiliary technologies for web browsing (meaning that graphs and tables should be presented in HTML, not as copy and pasted images which impede legibility, and all videos should be complemented by closed captions).

This new aspect of the protocol has undoubtedly penalised some companies, some of which often display tables and charts in image format. Austrian companies will need to step up the accessibility of their corporate website in order to break down the technological barriers for all users.

A lack of communications by Austrian companies on Covid-19

Less than a quarter of companies communicated openly and in an integrated way on the site about how the crisis caused by the pandemic affected their business – while more than twice as many European companies communicate on these issues on their sites (60%). Austrian companies need to increase their efforts to communicate about the crisis on their corporate website, in order to reassure their stakeholders that they are prepared to deal with fast changing contexts.

Austrian transparency performance in a European context

The Austrian average of 41.7 points dropped from last year’s 46.9-point average (-5.2 points). This drop is much sharper compared to the European average, which dropped by 2.1 points on average. Stakeholder expectations for transparency standards are undoubtedly more demanding, what is expected of companies is constantly evolving and as such, Austrian companies need to stay ahead by adapting their corporate communications constantly.

The European Ranking “Webranking Europe 500” includes the 500 largest listed European corporations based on market capitalisation listed in the EuroStoxx600 index. Of the 21 companies evaluated this year, 2 were also included in our ranking of Europe’s top 500 companies: : Erste Group and OMV Group. This is because the ranking includes the 500 largest European companies by market cap, and many Austrian companies are not large enough to enter this list.

Moreover, often of pressing concern for Austrian companies is the German performance, which this year again has ranked higher than Austrian average, standing at about 44.2 points. The gap between the two countries reveals a different approach to corporate transparency on their websites. In terms of information on corporate governance, such as remuneration and investor related details like strategy, German companies are more open than the Austrian, as shown on the graph above. Austrian companies, however, fare better than their German counterparts when it comes to features and functionalities, and area which covers the performance and user-friendly aspect of the website along with its security and overall architecture.

How Webranking can help you improve

The Webranking analysis allows you to define solutions to improve your digital presence, understand digital trends, compare to peers, generate internal engagement, and identify pathways for future improvement.

For further information about the research, to receive the highlights with the score per areas and to order a tailored, interactive report, please contact:

Caroline Becker, caroline.becker@lundquist.com