Vodafone named UK's most valuable brand

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The Independent Online

Mobile phone giant Vodafone is the UK's most valuable brand and ranks seventh in the world, according to a survey today.







The group leapfrogged HSBC bank to take top spot in the UK league, with the firm among 27 British companies listed in this year's survey of the world's 500 most valuable brands by consultancy Brand Finance.



Barclays, which yesterday announced record annual profits of £11.6 billion, climbed the ranking to make the top 50 this year, securing 44th place, up from 77 in 2009.



Supermarket chain Tesco also gained some ground in the Global 500, moving up from 20th place to 16th.



HSBC was relegated into eighth place by Vodafone, despite a rise in its brand value - calculated using a benchmark system that looks at strength, risk and future potential of a brand as well as the firm's financial strength.



But the banking sector as a whole put in a good showing in spite of the financial crisis.



"The banking sector has seen the largest increase in brand value in growing by 127 billion US dollars (£80.6 billion), highlighting a faster-than-expected resurgence following a near systemic failure," said Brand Finance.



Abbey's Spanish parent Santander soared up the rankings into 12th position, from 41 last year, reflecting the group's performance during the credit crisis and its recent UK acquisitions.



A number of US banks also rose this year as the sector put its recent woes behind it - Wells Fargo, Citi, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase all moved higher.



Other UK brands that make the Global 500 include Dairy Milk maker Cadbury, which is being bought by US rival Kraft, at number 273 with a 28% rise in brand value, although Kraft suffered a dramatic plunge, down 253 places to number 436.



UK oil giants BP and Royal Dutch Shell also saw opposite fortunes, with BP sliding out of the top 50, from 38 to 52, while its rival rose four places to 26.



The survey reveals that US supermarket Wal-Mart is the world's most valuable brand for the second year running, increasing its brand value by 2% to 41.4 billion US dollars (£26.3 billion).



Internet titan Google rose from fifth place to second, overtaking Coca-Cola, which otherwise enjoyed a 4% increase in its brand value.



Aside from Wal-Mart's success, the report confirms that 2009 was a grim year for retailers.



The only other retailers to climb in the top 10 retail brands were Wal-Mart-owned UK supermarket Asda, at 80 up from 107; H&M, which rose to 93 from 146; and US company Home Depot, which is up from 24 to 21 .



McDonald's remains the second most valuable retail brand, despite slipping to number 17 from 12 in the Global 500.

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