Fletcher Building embraces the web

Fletcher Building and Michael Hill International have been identified as having the best and the worst websites respectively in regard to communication with investors.

The fifth annual Best Investor Website Awards (BIWA) show that of the NZX50 companies, Fletcher Building did best at communicating with shareholders, scoring 86 out of a possible 100 ahead of second placed Goodman Fielder (84) and Auckland International Airport (83).

The awards evaluate how well listed companies’ websites meet the needs of investors. It is organised by Wired Internet in conjunction with Bruce Russell, information design lecturer at Christchurch Polytechnic and supported by the New Zealand Shareholders’ Association.

At the tail of the field was Michael Hill International (40), which came in at 49th in 2010.

The biggest improvement came from PGG Wrightson, Telecom, and ANZ Bank, whose site redesigns saw their rankings increase more than 20 places (and in PGGW’s case by 33 places).

New entrant DNZ Property Fund Ltd debuted at a respectable ninth place.

NZSA chairman John Hawkins said the internet continued to be increasingly important as an information portal to both retail and institutional investors.

"The NZSA is encouraged by the improvements being seen on company websites. Some of this can be put down to the awareness being generated among investor relations staff by the ongoing BIWA awards.”

BIWA judge Bruce Russell said new designs were not always better, with less than half of redesigned sites improving in the ratings.

And a big budget was no guarantee of success – while five NZX15 companies made the BIWA Top 10, four others were in the bottom 10.

This year the average score of the Top 10 was 80.9, and the average score of the Bottom 10 was 42.8 – a ‘gap’ of 38.1 points This ‘gap’ was 36.3 last year and has increased year-on-year from 2007 when it was 19.4 points.

More listed companies are taking heed of CSR, with 35 using  a combination of social and environmental responsibility as a plank of their investor and customer relations strategies up from 25 last year.

Social media use is also on the up and up: 13 sites in the NZX50 are using social networks including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Top five

Fletcher Building Ltd

Goodman Fielder Ltd

Auckland International Airport Ltd

New Zealand Oil and Gas Ltd

Hallenstein Glasson Holdings Ltd

Bottom five

AMP Limited

Goodman Property Trust

Mainfreight Ltd

Cavalier Corporation Ltd

Michael Hill International Ltd

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