Europe’s hidden IR winners
The IR Magazine Euro Top 100 rankings reward companies that are identified as doing the best IR across the board – and those close to the top of the list are not always award-winning firms.
Firstly, with fewer sector awards up for grabs this year and regional awards replacing individual country titles, there are fewer opportunities for companies to win at all. And while a consistent score across the board will result in a high ranking, it won’t necessarily yield awards, which are often won on the back of an exceptional score from investors and analysts in one area alone.
Investor Perception Study - Europe 2014
This year's comprehensive directory and analysis of the best-performing companies in Europe is now available
This year, for example, German industrial gas producer The Linde Group stormed to a fourth-place finish in the Euro Top 100 but did not win an award. This is the highest position ever achieved by a non-award-winning company since IR Magazine started compiling the Euro Top 100 in 2011.
That is not to say that particular aspects of The Linde Group’s IR program did not impress investors and analysts alike, with their feedback mentioning the strength of the company’s investor meetings, reporting structure and executive contact. Head of IR Dominik Heger – who was short-listed for the award for best IRO at a large-cap company – and IRO Lisa Tilmann are also praised personally for their efforts.
The Linde Group was also short-listed for an award for best IR in the materials sector, a category it shares with fellow German chemicals firm BASF, which tops the European standings and took home six IR Magazine Awards this year. Though in several other sectors a points total of 472 would be enough to win an award, The Linde Group missed out in a particularly strongly contested sector.
There are two further companies in the 2014 rankings that finish within the top 10 without winning an award – car manufacturer Volkswagen and Iberian electricity firm EDP – Energias de Portugal, which rank ninth and 10th, respectively.
At the same time – and for The Linde Group in particular – a high ranking is often the result of building upon the IR success of previous years. The German company has continued to make good on a 125-place climb over the past two years, finishing in 129th, 21st and fourth position, respectively, since 2012.
Europe's top movers
Deutsche Post, Ferrovial and SEB all gained several places in the Euro Top 100
Fellow German company Deutsche Post also managed a steep climb up the charts to finish eighth in 2014 from joint 83rd in 2013, and secured the award for the best IR in the industrials sector.
Two other companies within Europe’s top 20 made equally large gains on their 2013 performance: Madrid’s Ferrovial, a transport and infrastructure group, finished in 17th position, a 148-place improvement on its previous placing.
Swedish banking group SEB, meanwhile, enjoyed the single-largest rise in rank of any company in the Euro Top 100, climbing 277 places to turn 2013’s joint 295th into an 18th place spot in 2014. SEB’s climb is even more remarkable when considering that it ranked 379th in 2012 – in other words, the Swedish bank climbed 361 places over the course of two years.
Both award winners and the overall rankings were identified through a comprehensive research survey of 700 buy-side and sell-side analysts and portfolio managers across Europe. The full results of the findings are available in the IR Magazine Investor Perception Study – Europe 2014.