Financial Analysis of British Telecom, BP and Nike

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Title: Brief for website content

The brief contains summaries of corporate activities of lead multinational companies that has successfully operated their businesses worldwide and now take effective measures to withstand the adverse affects of the global financial crisis. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of British Telecom, British Petroleum and Nike are analyzed to provide a clear insight into the companies’ business operations, and challenges they currently face.

Three short success stories describing Nike, HSBC, and Shell successes serve as case-study examples of strong global competitors that manage their multinational activities regardless the challenges of the global financial crisis.

1. SWOT analysis of British Telecom (BT)


BT (a BT Group plc subsidiary) is the UK’s lead broadband Internet provider and fixed line telecommunications operator that:

  • Provides global telecommunication services in more than 170 countries worldwide;
  • Participates in London and New York Stock Exchange and is listed in the FTSE 100 Index;
  • Provides most British fixed-line telephones with local loop and trunk network connections, and telephone exchanges;
  • Operates more than 28 million UK telephone lines;
  • Owns largest nationwide telecom coverage and penetration;
  • On the basis of Universal Service Obligation, provides public call boxes fixed telephone lines nationwide;
  • Extends communication operations on global markets through acquisition and re-branding of the domestic and overseas businesses, specifically: BT Infonet, 2005; BT Radianz, 2006;, 2006; PlusNet plc, 2007; International Network Services Inc, 2007; Comsat International, 2007; Wire One Communications, 2008; and Ribbit, 2008.
  • Invests in new Internet Protocol century network 21CN.


BT main weaknesses are associated with the following factors:

  • Underdevelopment of mobile business and lack of fixed-mobile convergence;
  • Lack of business strategy towards the promotion of ‘cheap voice calls’;
  • Occasional payphone problem due to BT operations;
  • General complaints about customer services provided by BT.


  • Transition to the new century network (21CN) in 2010 including the transfer of half of its customers by 2008;
  • Expansion to more profitable products and services that are less regulated;
  • Emphasis on telecommunications and IT solutions and broadband internet services;
  • Extension of ‘BT Tradespace’ online service platform to serve small businesses;
  • Advancement of ‘BT Vision’ to provide high-quality broadband television services;
  • Expansion of Internet smart-phone services.
  • Expansion of services on highly-dynamic UK telecom market and internationally;
  • Contracting more overseas partners to further its global expansion;


  • Fierce competition from BT’s main rivals: Carphone Warehouse; Google; O2; Orange and Vodafone);
  • Global financial crisis;
  • Workforce and management shortages in BT core business divisions, including retail, wholesale, Openreach, and BT Global Services);
  • Overall increase of redemptions;
  • Potential risk for BT bond markets;
  • Fund management crisis with 6.6 b. slumps;
  • Operating markets liquidity;
  • Recent behavioural targeting scandal;
  • Inability to foresee the successfulness of long-term projects considering current economic fluctuations.

2. SWOT analysis of British Petroleum (BP)


BP is ranked at the world’s 3rd largest energy company and is positioned as a multinational oil company headquartered in London that:

  • Operates petrochemical businesses worldwide through the network of its subsidiaries and retail brands(Amoco; ARCO; BP Express, BP Connect; BP Travel Centre; ampm; Burmah Castrol etc)
  • Participates in London Stock Exchange, IPO in New York Stock Exchange. and is listed in the FTSE 100 Index;
  • BP Amoco strong brand loyalty for oil;
  • Strong brand management driven by the ‘Beyond Petroleum’ slogan.
  • BO Q3 net profit increase by 83% due to record oil and gas prices. The indicator amounts to $53.43 per share compared to $21.27 during the same period in 2007.


  • Launch of controversial business with the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline;
  • Increase in petrol prices in the UK;
  • Explosion of BP refinery in Texas that caused 100 injuries and 15 deaths in 2005;
  • Criminal charges due to the spread of 270.000 gallons of crude oil in the Alaskan tundra in 2006;
  • Toxic spill of 2,000 gallons of methanol in the oil field (Prudhoe Bay) managed by BP.
  • Closing of Alaskan oil wells.


  • 8 b. USD investment in the research of alternative fuel methods, including hydrogen, natural gas, wind and solar over the forthcoming decade;
  • Expansion of frontier areas suitable for BP’s future reserves (post-Soviet Union territories);
  • Extension of strategic oil and gas acquisitions in North Sea area;
  • Launch of more flexible price policy to compete main rivals;


  • Environmentally unsound policies due to oil and toxic spills;
  • Occasional refinery explosions;
  • Corrosion in pipelines;
  • Competition from Shell and Chevron
  • Ceasing operations in a number of potential locations with their further re-branding (Conoco);
  • Sale of corporate-owned stations;
  • More than 5.000 shortages within coming months;
  • $66,71 per barrel creates considerable tensions for running oil business;
  • Further lawsuits considering the company’s ecological activities;

3. SWOT analysis of Nike


Nike, Inc is listed in NYSE and positioned as a US headquartered worldwide sportswear trader and supplier that:

  • Contracts with about 700 shops worldwide, runs offices in 45 countries, and manages factories in China, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, India, Vietnam, Philippines, Pakistan, and Malaysia.
  • Belongs to Fortune 500 companies which 2007 total revenue exceeded 16 b. USD
  • Employs more than 30.000 people worldwide;
  • Owns strong marketing strategy under Nike brand that assumes the involvement of world top-class athletes and sportsmen in Nike’s ‘Just do it’ advertising campaigns;
  • Operates a chain of Niketown retail stores;
  • Leads its international business operations through acquisitions and re-branding: Converse Inc, 2003; Starter athletic clothing, 2004; Umbro, 2008;
  • Nike’s premium brand is used to manufacture and promote a wide variety of products for all types of sport-oriented and leisure activities;
  • Manages the US premier training program SPARQ Training Program;
  • Applies lunarlite foam and flywire materials to reduce the weight of manufactured shoes


  • Unwilling to disclose information concerning its partnering companies, which caused harsh criticism from CorpWatch and other companies;
  • Contracts factories in Vietnam, China, Mexico, Indonesia;
  • Violated overtime laws minimum wage rates and in Vietnam, 1996
  • Provides poor working conditions, and tends to exploit cheap workforce overseas, especially in free trade zones where;
  • Some of Nike’s ads are associated with US female empowerment;
  • In 1990s, Nike was reported to apply child labor in Pakistan and Cambodia to produce soccer balls;
  • Contracts overseas companies that apply non-transparent and inadequate labor regulations, involving child labor.
  • Positioned as a permanent subject of criticism by anti-globalization groups;
  • Forced Labour applications in partnering apparel factories in Malaysia, involving forced Labour and poor living conditions.


  • Producing sportswear products from manufacturing waste;
  • Extension of eco-friendly projects like ‘Reuse-A-Shoe Program’ aimed at further recycling;
  • Emphasis on corporate marketing strategy through the promotion of corporate brand and sponsorship agreements;


  • Textile industry adversely affects the environment, and therefore the company is permanently striving to maintain its eco-friendly reputation;
  • Financial crisis may lead to job shortages in a number of Nike’s worldwide subsidiaries;
  • The company has experienced negative publicity feedbacks due to its extensive advertising in mass media (Kasky v. Nike; Minor Threat at; Beatles song; Chinese-themed at, Horror ad etc).

1. Nike short case study

The key reasons for the success of Nike are associated with its global brand promotion. Due to its extensive advertising campaigns the Nike’s brand is known in almost every household worldwide. Considering the major revenue increase over the last decade, the company has proved its popularity and high demand for its products among people. Nike’s brand management strategy as a key of its global success is based on the sponsorship agreements with the world-class athletes, including individual performers and sport clubs. Mainly all kinds of sportswear equipment are branded with Nike's logo which reminds people of success and associates it with the achievements of star performers. In such a way, Nike not only expands its corporate image worldwide, but also enhances the healthy lifestyle and devotion to sport activities.

Unfortunately, despite million-dollar promotional and advertising campaigns, the original Nike’s products remain unavailable to most people worldwide. The price for individual items is rather high and so the overwhelming majority of purchasers buy franchise copies holding Nike’s logo. However, this is one of the justified and reasonable business strategies applied under the conditions of globalization.

In the recent years, Nike was reported to apply unfair working practices, involving child labour, insufficient working conditions, under-standard wages etc. In addition to this, the company was subject to legal claims for unfair public campaigns associate with the advertisement of corporate brand. Therefore, Nike’s further business success necessitates changes and reconsideration of its business strategies. To this end, recently Nike has ceased its irrelevant practices and tries to lead socially and environmentally responsible business operations.

It also comes as no surprise that the company constantly challenges anti-globalization claims. To this end the company should emphasise on transparent practices, considering human rights and social concerns. In this respect, the company should regain the image of more socially-oriented player on a global scale. Therefore, Nike’s management is fully aware that large corporate revenues gained from multinational operations should be combined with socially-oriented projects aimed at recycling and environmental campaigns.

In the foreseeable future, Nike’s facing great opportunities backed up with the company’s 2008 financial success. The company will continue to implement its corporate projects and programmes to suit the demand and social needs of its worldwide customers. Though, the main emphasis will be put on promotions and so new sponsorship agreements will be concluded with the rising stars.

It is rather difficult to predict corporate challenges to be faced by the company considering the overall adverse affects of global financial crisis. Most likely, as many other multinational businesses, Nike will close its subsidiary offices in a number of countries and/or shorten manufacturing rates in Asia.

Overall, it is apparent that Nike has a solid potential background to hold strong competitive stance in the foreseeable future. Hopefully, in terms of further business orientation strategy, the company will become more socially responsible in the eyes of average consumers, and so the availability of its brand products will further increase.

2. HSBC short case study

The key reasons for the success of HSBC (the world’s largest banking group since 2005) are associated with its reputable banking brand. Compared to its main rivals, in times of financial crisis HSBC continues to lead its conventional strategy aimed at risk-averse approach to manage business operations. HSBC group is solid and well-acclaimed banking operator that smartly manages worldwide assets, sales and market value, and therefore is ranked as the world’s most profitable bank. HSBC success is also to the Group’s strong presence on international lead financial markets with the significant business shares therein.

HSBC multinational banking and financial operations are backed up by 330.000 employees working in 85 countries, 210.000 shareholders, and 128 m. customers worldwide. These figures indicate the unprecedented international presence of HSBC.

HSBC runs a number of operative systems to assure its global successfulness. In particular, HSBCnet is the Group’s global service that coordinates local business needs and offers functional services to the operating spots worldwide. At that, both corporate and individual customers obtain access to banking transactions, trade services, exchange operations and money trading services. In addition to this, HSBCnet is widely applied as the marketing tool to promote the Bank’s e-commerce services.

At present, HSBC mainly focuses on the four main areas of operation:

  • Global banking markets expansion;
  • Private banking;
  • Personal financial services; and
  • Commercial banking

Recently, the Group has faced a number of challenges. The most controversial are associated with HSBC technical management. Its inappropriateness led to customer data leak, though the missing data did not produce the scandalous effect overall. Last year, many students protested against HSBC withdrawal of interest-free overdrafts, though eventually the suffered charges were fully repaid by the Group. These challenges prove that any, even the largest banking group, may become subject to threat, though the successful management of critical situation has always been a particular feature of HSBC worldwide operation.

In the coming future, HSBC will concentrate on the strategic and prioritized areas of its worldwide operation with the further emphasis on HR management strategies and technologically-advanced applications within the group. Namely there two factors enable HSBC to provide top-quality services and win more international markets. Specifically, new security systems will be operated to avoid further leaks of information. More than 330.000 staff permanently requires a solid ground for professional improvement and therefore HSBC will further expand professional training and development programs for its employees.

In light of the ongoing financial crisis, HSBC is not going to apply the £ 25b. Fund unveiled by the UK government to save the country’s banking system. This approach is entirely different from those currently led by the Group’s from its main rivals. Conversely, HSBC intends to lend £ 750 m. to reinforce the UK capital base. With this purpose, over the last four years the bank has provided loans to help other UK banks.

3. Shell short case study

The key reasons for the success of Shell Oil Company are associated with the oil major’s multinational oil business operations backed up by more than 22.000 staff and the consolidated companies. Shell’s main business direction is natural gas production, petrochemical, gasoline and natural gas marketing. At that, Shell leads the market through the network of its branded gas stations exceeding 25.000 in the US alone. This ensures the corporation solid public presence.

On an international scale, Shell partners with Saudi Aramco to jointly operate refineries. With the help of its partners (Chevron) and subsidiaries (Aera Energy LLC; Motiva Enterprises), Shell expands strategic drills in offshore locations; produces fuels, oils, and explores, produces, and refines petroleum products.

Furthermore, Shell Oil Company has always associated its success with the high-quality workforce regarded as its most invaluable asset. The corporation therefore invests solid funds into the improvement of professional capacity of it enormous staff and attempts to implement flexible working practices as far as possible. Overall, the company pays competitive dividends, and makes considerable investments to ensure the company’s profitability.

Recently, Shell faced serious ecological challenges considering the reports of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In connection with the Notice of Violation, Shell violated the Clean Air Act in 1998. At that, within a week 28.4 m. gallons of gasoline were released in the air without the compulsory vapor recovery equipment. This resulted in 56 t. hazardous emissions in the atmosphere. Another accusation was related to the illegal construction of loading bay without the allowance from the State Department of Environmental Protection.

In accordance with the most recent 2008 lawsuit launched against Shell, the company allegedly violated Clean Air Act.

Therefore, the company is seriously challenged with the environmental concerns, including sulfur dioxide emissions, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide emissions; emissions of nitrogen oxides. In addition to this, Shell operations are reported to produce adverse affects to the vast majority of migratory birds’ community due to drilling operations North Sea. Taking these and other facts into account, Shell should reconsider its environmental policies and limit hazardous effects to the surrounding environment in the foreseeable future.

Considering the effects of the spreading financial crisis, Shell is prone to take certain measures to keep a competitive pace. For Shell, as well as other major oil players, the overall situation is intensified by the oil reserve crisis. Since the prices per barrel have substantially decreased, Shell should smartly coordinate its price policy and spot the current tendencies on global markets.

The current situation is such that in light of the financial crisis, energy prices are plunging and force oil companies to delay their projects and scale back spending. Therefore, major oil players like Shell are expecting the soonest moderation of the industry costs. As many oil players, Shell is leading well-balanced business strategy to foresee further economic fluctuations and win competitive advantage.

Most importantly, the company is becoming less environmentally hazardous and only this factor may assure the company high publicity and brand promotion in the near future.

Overall, the briefs enabled to analyze the current business situation of some lead multinational players that are currently expanding their global markets. In most cases, their business success is associated with sound brand management and international expansion through partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, and re-branding. At that, the companies tend to emphasize on the cutting-edge technologies and human factor as their main asset while managing enormous workforce internationally.

On the other hand, however, mainly all companies have recently been subject to serious claims and lawsuits associated with the lack of social responsibility, and most importantly, unsound environmentally-based policies. Now, it is high time these internationally acclaimed brands reconsidered their environmental and social-oriented policies and made them more transparent and sufficient.

Furthermore, the ongoing financial crisis places additional challenges to these multinational players. Overall this indicates the uncertainty of future forecasts and corporate strategies intended even for the short-term periods. At that, it is apparent that the revenue rates and financial stability of the abovementioned brands have not suffered during the third quarter of 2008.

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Financial analysis of British Telecom, BP and Nike. (2017, Jun 26). Retrieved February 22, 2024 , from

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