Big European brands see value fall

05 October 2010

VIENNA: Some of the biggest European brands, including Nokia and Louis Vuitton, have declined in value during the last year, a study has argued.

Eurobrand, the consultancy, assessed the intangible assets owned by 3,000 corporations from 24 countries and covering 16 categories.

Nokia, the telecoms giant, topped the rankings, but posted a 28.1% slide in its net worth year-on-year to €25.3bn ($34.6bn; £21.9bn).

The Finnish operator is pressing into areas like apps and mobile banking, and also plans to develop its handset portfolio having failed to compete with Apple's iPhone thus far.

"The clear challenges Nokia faces are well understood," Stephen Elop, appointed as Nokia's ceo last month, said at a recent press conference.

"My role is to surface those, to make sure we're dealing with them efficiently – that we're making crisp decisions and moving the organisation forward aggressively."

Vodafone took second place overall, up 6.4% and just €13m behind Nokia, but Louis Vuitton was off 10% on €17.2bn as a result of the travails experienced by the premium sector in the downturn.

Mercedes-Benz witnessed a 12.6% drop to €16.9bn and BMW was down 9.5% on €15.3bn, indicative of a wider 14.1% decrease among automakers.

Spanish mobile specialist Telefonica's remained largely flat on €15.1bn, while Nescafé generated a double-digit improvement to €14.6bn, leading the consumer goods segment.

Orange, another wireless network provider, underwent a 5.5% valuation slip to €12.9bn, figures standing at 11.5% and €12.7bn respectively for rival T-Mobile.

Red Bull, the energy drink, completed the top ten, having suffered a 5.4% decline, coming it at slightly less than €12bn.

More broadly, the pharmaceutical, health and biotech industry recorded an 8.5% increase, with GlaxoSmithKline up 34.6%, Sanofi Aventis by 19.1% and Novartis by 11.6%.

The utilities segment leapt 8.2%, with retailers collectively growing 5.4%, mainly thanks to chains like Ikea, H&M, and Tesco.

Elsewhere, the consumer goods sector delivered a modest 0.4% climb, with media and entertainment declining 4.2%, telecoms down 8.4% and the luxury category by 8.6%.

Financial services were off 10.8% – as RBS was hit with a 36% slide and Deutsche Bank tumbled 29.9% – and the IT/tech industry plummeted 14.5%.

Brands contributed 18.6% of total company value in the consumer goods sector, falling to 13.7% for telecoms, 11.6% for financial services, 9.6% for retail and 5.9% for durables.

At the corporate level, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy claimed the top spot on €27.7bn, a 14.6% reduction year-on-year, ahead of Nokia and Vodafone.

InBev, the brewer, followed in fourth but also posted a 12.3% decline to €23.6bn as beer sales slowed in many mature markets.

Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch FMCG firm, endured a 2.7% drop to €22.2bn, while Swiss food and beverage manufacturer Nestlé saw a 14.8% surge to €19.6bn.

Finally, brewer SAB Miller registered a 4.2% contraction to €17.6bn and spirits group Diageo was up 9.3% on €16.5bn.

Data sourced from Eurobrand; additional content by Warc staff