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Signal's strong for Vodafone as it secures top UK brand accolade

Vodafone has emerged as the leading UK company in a league table of the world's top brands, standing at fifth place in a list dominated by American companies. Google topped the latest Brand Finance Global 500 report, boasting a brand value of more than $44bn (£27bn).

The top 10 also features Microsoft in second place with a brand value of nearly $43bn (£26bn), IBM and Apple, whose brand was given a value of nearly $30bn (£18bn) over 2010.

Apple had a good year, moving up to eighth place from number 20 the previous year as it built on the success of its iPhone and iPad.

In all, American companies claimed 13 spots out of the top 20, and 26 of the leading 500.

Vodafone, in fifth place compared with seventh place in the previous report, was the only UK company to make it to the top 10, with a brand value of nearly $31bn (£19bn).

The mobile phone group, which boasts more than 359 million customers worldwide, also stood out as the top international telecoms brand.

David Haigh, the chief executive of Brand Finance, said: "Vodafone's presence in the top 10 is testament to the UK's ability to grow and nurture great brands despite a tough economic climate."

The only other UK representatives in the top 25 are the bank HSBC and the retail grocery giant Tesco.

HSBC slipped out of the top 10, going from eighth to 11th place, while Tesco was also down, from 17th to 19th.