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Björn Borg brand rakes in money

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14:53 CEST+02:00
Shares in Worldwide Brand, the company that holds the rights to the brand name of former tennis star Björn Borg, soared on Thursday, after it reported a five-fold increase in second quarter pretax profits and a 69 pct jump in sales, brokers said.

WWB's second quarter operating margin grew to 16 pct from 4 pct. The company also concluded distribution agreements during the period enabling it to launch the Borg brand in the UK, Germany and Switzerland.

Analysts surveyed by Swedish business newspaper Dagens Industri also placed the share at the top of their buy list in a survey today giving the share a further lift.

Former tennis start Björn Borg launched a clothing range in 1991. WWB acquired a licence giving it exclusive rights to produce, market and sell Bjorn Borg products around the world in 1997. Today the brand covers a range of clothes, footwear, underwear, and accessories.

"Today, the brand stands increasingly on its own merits and is associated more and more with underwear and footwear, etc. and less with Björn Borg as a person," the company said.

BORG BY THE NUMBERS

A 1987 entrant into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Bjorn Borg defined precociousness. His on-court legacy is irrefutable: in 1972, at 15, he won his first Davis Cup match. Two years later he became the then-youngest Open-era French Open winner at 17. He matched that feat when he won Wimbledon in 1976 at 20.

His 16 tournament titles were the most by a teenager until Rafael Nadal tied the mark this month with his ninth consecutive clay-court victory, at the Masters Series Rome.

He led Sweden to its first Davis Cup championship in 1975, and he holds the only undefeated singles record in Cup history (33-0).

By 25, he had 11 Grand Slam titles despite playing the Australian Open only once. By comparison, all-time Grand Slam title leader Pete Sampras did not reach 11 titles until he was 27.

Many of Borg's Open-era records still stand, including most consecutive French Open men's singles titles (four) and most overall (six), most consecutive Wimbledon championships (five) and most consecutive Wimbledon match wins (41).

He lost only twice in eight French Opens, and his 141-16 record in majors is the best winning percentage (.898) for any man.

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