2023 Annual Report Rating: the winners

Overall winner of the 2023 Swiss Annual Report Rating is Swiss Post, followed by Geberit and Sika in second and third place. We’re delighted to have been involved in multiple top-rated reports.

The Swiss Annual Report Rating is a rendezvous for the communications industry. Around 180 people accepted the HarbourClub’s invitation to the SIX ConventionPoint on Thursday. They represented a large proportion of the 236 companies that submitted their reports for this year’s competition. The evaluation covered the reports of all companies that were represented in the Swiss Performance Index SPI as of the end of 2022, as well as other companies headquartered in Switzerland, some of which are not listed. Nine of the companies were taking part in the annual report rating for the first time. The reports were assessed by several panels: a value reporting panel, a design panel and a final panel. Another expert panel assessed the textual design of the twelve overall best reports.

Three worthy winners

One of the impressive things about Swiss Post, the overall winner, is its stringent brand communication, both in financial reporting and across all media. “This is something that not only I as a designer sensed, but all the other panel members as well,” said Anna-Pia Link, Head of UX/UI Design at Linkgroup AG, in her laudatory speech. Geberit was once again able to preserve the high standard of reporting that it has maintained for years, and in certain areas was even able to take it further. “The content is appealing for readers,” said Arun Vasudevan, BA UZH Research and Teaching Assistant, praising the second-placed company.

Sika also top for language

Sika made it onto the podium for the second time in a row with third place. The company was able to withstand the pressure after its first place in 2022. “The online report is crisp, the print version coherent. Many nice details stand out,” commented Eva Bachmann and Susanne Loacker, lecturers at the ZHAW Institute of Applied Media Studies (IAM). Global operator Sika also made it onto the podium in the text category, taking second place, in particular for the multifaceted presentation of the core messages in the online report and the many perspectives contributed by people in different positions around the world.

This year too we’re delighted to have been able to provide consulting, conceptual and implementation support to companies whose reporting ranked among the top three. Here’s an overview of the other best-placed companies:

Top three annual reports overall rated by the final panel
1st place: Swiss Post
2nd place: Geberit
3rd place: Sika

Design (Online and Print) category
1st place: Migros
2nd place: Banque Pictet
2nd place: Dottikon ES Holding
3rd place: Allreal

Value Reporting category
1st place: Sika
2nd place: Clariant
3rd place: SGS

Biggest climbers of the year
Design: Burckhardt Compression
Value Reporting: Interroll

Text category
Swiss Post

All the results of the Swiss Annual Report Rating can be accessed online. In addition to the current ranking in the Value Reporting, Design and Text categories, the ratings of previous years are also available for download. All annual reports are also available as PDF files – all in all a library of more than 1,000 annual reports.

For the first time, artificial intelligence was used in the rating process. The value reporting panel used a ChatGPT-based tool (ChatPDF) to find relevant information for the value reporting criteria and the necessary analysis of the companies’ reports and websites. To be able to compare human and machine skills in finding information, the information was manually researched and documented in parallel by the members of the panel. The rating scores themselves, on the other hand, were awarded exclusively by the panel members. In a survey, the panel members rated the use of AI with only 2.6 out of 5.0 points.

Speciality: Financial Publishing

Our Financial Publishing service package is aimed at listed and non-listed companies that see the value of professional financial and sustainability reporting. Our clients benefit from our cross-media capabilities and deep vertical integration, all on a one-stop basis. We can provide you with advice and support on cross-media communications strategies and developing content. We also make sure that content is orchestrated properly across channels. We provide you with web-based publishing systems to make the publishing process effective and efficient. Our clientele includes many well-known organisations.

“For the redesign of Burckhardt Compression’s annual report and company portraits, we were looking for a one-stop shop with many years of experience and relevant references. We were impressed by Linkgroup’s work across the board from the concept and design all the way through to cross-media production. Despite tight deadlines, the final product went to press on time – not least thanks to the professionalism and outstanding commitment of the Linkgroup team.”

Nathalie Roth
Communications Manager Burckhardt Compression AG

“This was the first time we had developed and published our annual reporting including both an annual and a sustainability report. Linkgroup gave us perfect, comprehensive support. Their rich experience and our knowledge were a great match, and we were able to make clear progress in terms of value reporting. We were particularly impressed by Linkgroup’s proposal for a cross-media strategy encompassing significantly improved publication on the corporate website, an online annual report and quick report, a CEO video, social media and a rethink of our report as a magazine. The fact that Linkgroup offers in-house services spanning everything from the concept, content creation and design to implementation made things more efficient for Sika.”

Dominik Slappnig
Head Corporate Communications & Investor Relations at Sika AG, Baar ZG

“The collaboration with Linkgroup was very professional, constructive and highly responsive, even throughout intense times. The project management and the respective roles and responsibilities worked seamlessly, which is key for such a project in a global environment. Our top management wanted, in addition to print, to communicate our key reporting messages to our stakeholders in a more dynamic and multi-media way. Feedback from management has been uniformly positive, with the Board calling the new financial and sustainability reporting a ‘quantum leap’ forward. We are very grateful to Linkgroup for helping us to bring it to life.”

Jonathan Tin
Head of Corporate Reporting Holcim Ltd, Zug

“We’ve been working with Linkgroup since our IPO in 1999. They give us active advice at all stages of the process, and the way they implement is structured and efficient. We like their practical approach to communications design and the fact that they avoid art for art’s sake: they work within the framework of our corporate design to develop solutions for our stakeholders that have an impact and a concrete benefit. Another of Linkgroup’s strengths as a one-stop shop that particularly benefits Geberit is their extraordinarily deep vertical integration and process security.”

Christoph Abt
Global Editor Corporate Communications Geberit International AG, Rapperswil-Jona (Canton of St Gallen)

“A new, fresh website for the Phoenix Mecano Group should better represent the company and more clearly show its strategy. We also wanted to rethink our reporting concept and seamlessly integrate our first sustainability report. The new group website now serves as a central communications hub integrating reporting and sustainability. Linkgroup thinks in terms of content and has provided us with professional support from strategy to conception and design to cross-media implementation. We’ve derived enormous benefit from their one-stop shop approach, experienced project management team and high degree of vertical integration. Thanks to a modern approach and design that matches our philosophy and self-image, we’ve been able to efficiently gear our group communications to all the relevant stakeholders – achieving the goal of the project.”

Philipp Eberhard
Head of Corporate Communications Phoenix Mecano Management AG, Kloten (Canton of Zurich)

“Communications media for financial and sustainability reporting are particularly demanding. Linkgroup has deep expertise in this field, a proven track record and a great deal of cross-media know-how. Together we’re constantly evolving our communications media. Great examples of this are the special investor relations site embedded in our corporate website and the development of the group’s branding. Ever since our IPO in 2016, collaboration with Linkgroup has been perfect in all respects, especially during hectic phases where changes have had to be made at short notice. One-stop services from concept and creation to cross-media production, plus the PublishingSuite Finance® platform, have also helped make things very efficient.”

Michel Gerber
Head of Investor Relations & Corporate Communications of VAT Group AG, Haag (Canton of St Gallen)