Apple "most valuable brand" on Earth

Google lost its title of most valuable company in the world to Apple, says research company Millward Brown. The iCompany's brand value grew 84% in one year and rose to 153.3 billion dollar. Google stays second, IBM completes the top-3.

Technology dominates the top-100

the first three places are held by IT companies, but also one in three places in the Brandz top-100, including the biggest climbers Facebook (19.1 billion, climbing to #35 with a growth of 246%) and Chinese search engine Baidu (+141% and new in the list).

In textile country, Nike (13.9 billion dollar), H&M (13 billion) and Zara (10.3 billion) tower over the rest; number four is a huge 7 billion dollars behind (Ralph Lauren at 3.3 billion). The luxury brands, led by Louis Vuitton (24.3 billion), experienced a remarkable boom last year. Hermes (11.9 billion) and Gucci (7.4 billion) also finish in the top-3.


E-commerce defeats Walmart

Amazon are now the biggest retailers in the world: their worth of 37.6 billion dollar (+37%) is now slightly bigger than Walmart's 37.3 billion. Tesco holds the third spot but is only worth half an Amazon (21.8 billion). The rest of the top-10 consists of Carrefour, Target, eBay, HomeDepot, Aldi, Auchan and Ikea.

The total value of the 100 brands in the list have risen 17% to a staggering 2.4 trillion dollar. Most remarkable is the breakthrough of BRIC-companies. The highest non-American company in the list, at number 9, is China Mobile, worth 57 billion dollar.

» Read more


Unilever grows five quarters in a row

English-Dutch Unilever announced this morning that their first quarter of 2011 has been terrific. Turnover rose 7.0% to 10.9 billion euro, owing to both a bigger sales volume and higher prices. Unilever grew in all their categories and most of their regions. Only Western Europe has witnessed a negative underlying sales growth. 


Innovation and introduction

CEO Paul Polman expressed his joy about the excellent results “against a backdrop of rising commodity costs, weak consumer confidence and very competitive markets.” He recognises two key factors in his company's good results: innovation (of new products) and introduction (of strong brands in new markets). 


Now the integration of Sara Lee is “well on track”, Unilever turns to its next target as it hopes to complete the acquisition of Alberto Culber in quarter two. “We continue to focus on the long term development of the business and our priorities remain: profitable volume growth ahead of our markets, steady and sustainable underlying operating margin improvement and strong cash flow”, said Polman.


Double figures in Latin America

Unilever's strongest region is the (admittedly, not really geographically limited) region of “Africa, Asia and Central- and Eastern Europe”, earning 42% of Unilever's world total or 4.5 billion euro. Unilever Americas grew to 3.6 billion, while Western Europe reached 2.7 billion. In more detail, Latin-America saw the biggest growth (“double figures”, according to the statement), while Western Europe and CEE “were weaker”.


Deodorants are Unilever's strongest general product category, while Dove is one of the biggest growing products – especially in Latin America. Magnum's introduction to the US and Indonesia has been pushing the ice cream department to a huge progress – while soups (like Knorr) had a disappointing quarter due to “the mild winter in Europe”. 


Unilever's statement ended with a warning: as in a number of European countries (including Belgium and the Netherlands) quite a few investigations are made by competition agencies, it is possible that some of those might have a negative effect on Unilever's yearly results. Still, the statement ensures that all the possible provisions have been made.

» Read more