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Spain's biggest brands under the spotlight: Which rank highest in Europe?
Wednesday, June 15, 2022 @ 7:36 PM

EUROPE'S top 500 most valuable brands in terms of overall financial worth include 24 from Spain, with seven of them in the first 100, putting it in seventh place on the continent as a whole – not just in the EU-27.

Two Spanish corporations appear in the top 10 in Europe for greatest increase in their net worth in the past year.

Santander Bank is still Spain's most valuable brand, in financial terms (all photos from their company websites, unless otherwise stated)

The annual ranking for 2022 has just been published and, once again, features German motor brand Mercedes-Benz as the largest on the continent, valued at just under €52.4 billion.

Despite only moderate growth in the past 12 months – just 6% - against a backdrop of a generally difficult year for the motor industry, Mercedes-Benz has managed to hold onto its top position through a concerted effort to focus on electrically-powered cars, sales of which soared by 90% for the luxury family saloon brand over the second half of 2021 and first half of 2022.


Which is Spain's top-valued brand?

The two highest-ranking national brands from Spain both have a female leader – Banco Santander, whose chairwoman is Ana Botín, and Zara, the most international of the fashion empire Inditex's clothing labels.

Founder Amancio Ortega's daughter, Marta Ortega, took over as CEO of Inditex last year and, although habitually one of the country's biggest corporations in terms of financial worth and turnover at any one time in recent history, this has reportedly increased with Marta at the helm.

Zara, the best-known label of the Inditex clothing empire, is Spain's second largest brand in capital terms…and seemingly pandemic-proof, as it continued to grow and increase its turnover even during the ‘Covid years’

She has always been a key player in the family firm, starting as shelf-stacker and check-out worker in Bershka in London after she graduated, working the shop floor in stores around the world, later becoming one of the design team for Zara and, more recently, its product manager, back in her native Galicia. 

Although sales at Inditex increased by 36% in the first quarter of Marta's reign, Zara has fallen from number 28 to number 32 in Europe, but this is largely due to other brands rising in value as opposed to Zara's losing any.

The opposite, in fact, is true – the first three months of the year closed with earnings of around €760m for Inditex, far exceeding analysts' expectations.

Banco Santander, which has long been present in Latin America and broke into the UK market in 2004 when it acquired the Abbey National bank, increased its value by 9% in the last 12 months and has risen from Europe's number 26 to number 23.

At the time of publication, shares in Banco Santander were worth €2.62, up 0.48%, and Inditex as a firm – which currently features nine major brands – was at €22.51, down 0.27%.


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