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Global Crisis Costs Qantas, Foster’s Brands dearly


AUSTRALIA’s top brands took a hammering in the global financial crisis, with the value of some of the best-known names, such as Qantas and Foster’s Group, plummeting.

More than $700 million was wiped off the airline’s brand, according to a study by Brand Finance Australia.

Qantas, which includes Jetstar, fell out of the top 10 to No. 12, shedding 27 per cent in value in the year to the end of September.

Had it not been for its budget carrier’s performance the picture would have been worse, said Brand Finance managing director Tim Heberden.

In the same period, Foster’s fell four places to No. 5 and saw the value of its brands, which include VB, fall by nearly 14 per cent, as its struggling wine division held back its performance.

Woolworths rose one place to head the list. Westpac rose from eighth to No. 2 off the back of the St George merger, while Wesfarmers shot up from No. 48 to sixth place following the acquisition of Coles.

Mr Heberden said the 4 per cent year on year fall in the index of the top 50 most valuable brands was not unexpected given the global financial crisis.

Qantas spokeswoman Olivia Wirth said the report recognised that the past 12 months had been extremely difficult for the aviation industry as declining passenger traffic and drops in yield hit profitability.

But she said Qantas had outperformed competitors.

“Despite the tough conditions, Qantas continues to be one of the country’s most valued brands. We recognise the value of the Qantas brand and will continue to invest in initiatives to build this in the future,” she said.

Foster’s declined to comment.

Qantas can take some consolation from the fact that it is in the top 10 brands where the consumer-facing brands make up a higher proportion of the overall value – a factor known as the ”enterprise value”.

Brand Finance reaches a total value of the corporate and consumer brands on its list by adding up a company’s market capitalisation, debt and intangible assets – which can be anything from the strength of its brands to loyalty schemes, supplier relationships and intellectual property.

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Sunday, December 17, 5:32 pm

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