This year belongs to Tesco and Leahy, as they do the double (winning both Most Admired Company and Most Admired Leader awards respectively) for the second time in three years. Tesco also wins outright two of the nine new judging criteria prizes (see right) - for Capacity to Innovate and Use of Corporate Assets - and is joint winner of a third, the Quality of Management award, cementing its place as the undisputed king of BMAC.
PATRICK CESCAU CHAIRMAN, UNILEVER
Rarely to be found outside the top 10 since BMAC began, Unilever drops only a couple of places to fourth this year, and wins the category award for its Ability to Attract, Retain & Develop Top Talent. Chairman Cescau can take heart that his company's great reputation for hiring - and keeping - la creme de la creme is still strong among its peers, despite recent dips in financial performance.
STEPHEN GREEN GROUP CEO, HSBC
The world's second-largest bank made an eye-watering £6bn profit in the first six months of this year, so it seems only fitting that it should be the joint winner of the award for Financial Soundness. It also made the shortlist for two of the remaining eight criteria awards. All round, another good result for Green, who has been with the bank since 1982.
BEN VERWAAYEN CEO, BT
Vewaayen sidestepped a potentially risky Competition Commission enquiry this year by forming Openreach, a new BT company intended to help rival firms gain access to BT's network services more easily. He also steered the group through a partial restructure and managed to keep profits heading gently upwards. BT also won BMAC's award for Community & Environmental Responsibility, too. Not a bad year's work.
CHARLES BANKS GROUP CEO, WOLSELEY
Wolseley's mastery of the plumbing supplies trade has turned it into one of the rising stars of Most Admired. It has leaped up the table in recent years and is now firmly ensconced in the top 20 - 18th to be exact in 2005. Under soon-to-retire boss Banks, its impressive commercial performance has earned Wolseley this year's laurels for Value as a Long-Term Investment.
ARUN SARIN CEO, VODAFONE
Vodafone is now firmly established as one of the biggest beasts in the British corporate jungle - and under Sarin's stewardship it remains remarkably light on its feet, as many a bloody-nosed opponent has discovered. So no surprises that Vodafone is joint winner of the Financial Soundness award, and comes a respectable eighth overall, 28 places ahead of its nearest competitor.
PAUL WALSH CEO, DIAGEO
In the two years since Walsh managed to get rid of underperforming Burger King, the Diageo boss has not been idle. The freedom to concentrate on what the business does best - booze - has reaped a 30-place jump up our ranking this year to seventh overall. The maker of Guinness, Tanqueray gin and J&B scotch also picked up the award for the Quality of Goods & Services.
JAMES MURDOCH CEO, BSKYB
BSkyB's subscriber base may be suffering from a little more 'customer churn' than it used to, but young Master Murdoch is clearly doing something right. First-quarter profits are up to £200m and BSkyB soars from 22nd to fifth place in our overall ranking, its highest-ever showing in BMAC. It also bests all rivals to take our award for Quality of Marketing.
TODD STITZER CEO, CADBURY SCHWEPPES
Last year's Most Admired Company only just misses out on a repeat performance, slipping a mere two places to third overall. But as consolation prizes go, joint winner of the Quality of Management award is pretty sweet. It certainly reflects deservedly well on Stitzer's intelligent, accessible and commercially astute leadership style.
MEASURES OF SUCCESS Company performances were judged against nine criteria. Here are the highest-scoring contenders in each category... Quality of management 1= Cadbury Schweppes 8.5 1= Tesco 8.5 3 BP 8.3 4 SABMiller 7.9 Financial soundness 1= HSBC 9.0 1= Vodafone 9.0 3 BP 8.9 4 Royal Bank of Scotland 8.5 Quality of goods & services 1 Diageo 8.1 2 Man Group 8.0 3 Cadbury Schweppes 8.0 4 BSkyB 8.0 Ability to attract, develop & retain top talent 1 Unilever 8.6 2 BP 8.3 3 Tesco 8.3 4 Cadbury Schweppes 8.3 Value as a long-term investment 1 Wolseley 8.26 2 Tesco 8.25 3 Serco Group 8.00 4 BP 8.00 Capacity to innovate 1 Tesco 8.7 2 Man Group 8.0 3 Pilkington 8.0 4 BSkyB 7.8 Quality of marketing 1 BSkyB 8.4 2 Tesco 8.3 3 Cadbury Schweppes 8.3 4 Marshalls 8.1 Community & environmental responsibility 1 BT Group 7.4 2 IMI 7.3 3 BP 7.3 4 Rio Tinto 7.3 Use of corporate assets 1 Tesco 7.7 2 Punch Taverns 7.6 3 Vodafone 7.6 4 Serco Group 7.4