Belfast Telegraph

Vodafone knocks HSBC off top spot

By Holly Williams

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

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.

At number 134, FG Wilson parent Caterpillar was the highest-placed manufacturing brand with operations in Northern Ireland.

Others included Michelin, at number 278, French weapons maker Thales at 337, Allstate at 384 and Bombardier at 404.

Kerry was the only Irish name in the list, coming in at 414 with a brand value of £2.3bn.

Barclays, which this week announced record annual profits of £11.6bn, 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, 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 $127bn US dollars (£80.6bn), 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 41st last year, reflecting the group's performance during the credit crisis and its recent UK acquisitions.

A number of US banks also rose including Wells Fargo, Citi, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase.

Other UK brands that made 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 plunged 253 places to number 436.

US supermarket Wal-Mart is top of the Global 500 for the second year running, increasing its brand value by 2% to $41.4bn (£26.3bn), with Google second.

Belfast Telegraph