UK: BRITAIN'S MOST ADMIRED COMPANIES - THE MOST. - The appearance of HSBC at the head of the banking sector - one of six newcomers to go straight to the top of its respective category - masks one of the table's greatest reversals of fortune: that of Midl

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

The appearance of HSBC at the head of the banking sector - one of six newcomers to go straight to the top of its respective category - masks one of the table's greatest reversals of fortune: that of Midland, which, prior to its takeover, was consistently voted Britain's least admired clearer. There is tumult elsewhere - among the regional electricity companies, for example. The previously dominant trio - Yorkshire, Southern and East Midlands - have all been displaced. Eastern, in contrast, moves from eighth position to first. In the media sector the recent upheavals in commercial television have had a similarly profound effect. The two formerly most admired broadcasters, Central and LWT, have disappeared following last year's takeovers (the former by Carlton, now in second place). First place is taken by Flextech, the former oil services company that, now majority-owned by US giant TCI, has recast itself as a cable TV business. Flextech in turn has built a 20% stake in HTV, which, apparently gaining from the link, moves up to third place.

Sector First Second

1 Banks HSBC Lloyds

2 Building & Construction Bryant Group Berkeley Group

3 Building Materials &

Merchants Wolseley RMC Group

4 Business Services Rentokil Chubb Security

5 Chemicals & Plastics Allied Colloids Group Courtaulds

6 Conglomerates BTR Tomkins

7 Drinks Guinness Whitbread

8 Electricals Electrocomponents Bowthorpe

9 Electricity Eastern Electricity PowerGen

10 Engineering (Auto & Aero) Smiths Industries GKN

11 Engineering & Extractive Siebe Glynwed

12 Financial S G Warburg Schroders

13 Food Manufacturers Unilever Cadbury Schweppes

14 Food Retailers J Sainsbury Tesco

15 Health & Household Glaxo SmithKline Beecham

16 Insurance Commercial Union Prudential


17 Leisure Granada Group Compass Group

18 Media Flextech Carlton


19 News & Publishers Reuters Pearson

20 Oil & Gas Shell Transport &

Trading British Petroleum Co

21 Paper & Printing De La Rue Bowater

22 Property Land Securities British Land

23 Retail Stores Marks & Spencer Boots

24 Textiles Allied Textiles Courtaulds Textiles

25 Transport British Airways BAA

26 Water Wessex Water Severn Trent Water

Sector Third Sector average

1 Banks Abbey National 5.31

2 Building & Construction Wilson Bowden 5.89

3 Building Materials & Merchants Rugby Group 6.10

4 Business Services Hays 5.53

5 Chemicals & Plastics Croda International 6.06

6 Conglomerates Wassall 5.58

7 Drinks Grand Metropolitan 6.31

8 Electricals Vodafone 6.42

9 Electricity Midlands Electricity 6.24

10 Engineering (Auto & Aero) Rolls-Royce 5.83

11 Engineering & Extractive IMI 6.43

12 Financial M&G Group 6.30

13 Food Manufacturers United Biscuits 5.88

14 Food Retailers Argyll Group 5.56

15 Health & Household Amersham 5.99

16 Insurance Lloyds Abbey Life 5.39

17 Leisure First Leisure 5.36

18 Media HTV 5.06

19 News & Publishers EMAP 6.45

20 Oil & Gas Burmah Castrol 5.58

21 Paper & Printing St. Ives 5.25

22 Property Burford 6.00

23 Retail Stores Next 5.99

24 Textiles Pentland Group 5.38

25 Transport P&O 5.26

26 Water Welsh Water 5.99.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

What happens to your business if you get COVID-19?

Three bosses who caught coronavirus share their tips.

NextGen winners: The firms that will lead Britain's recovery

Agility, impact and vision define our next generation of great companies.

Furlough and bias: An open letter to business leaders facing tough decisions

In moments of stress, business leaders default to autopilot behaviours, with social structural prejudices baked...

The ‘cakeable’ offence: A short case study in morale-sapping management

Seemingly trivial decisions can have a knock-on effect.

Customer service in a pandemic: The great, the good and the downright terrible ...

As these examples show, the best businesses put humanity first.

How D&I can help firms grow during a crisis

Many D&I initiatives will be deprioritised, postponed or cancelled altogether in the next three months....