Asda boosted by market share battle with M&S

Asda muscled its way to the top of this week’s Reputation Monitor after its market share threatened to overtake Marks & Spencer for the first time.

Its share of the retail market was up 1.4 per cent on last year at 8.9 per cent, just behind M&S’s 9.1 per cent. The growth has been put down to its keen pricing, with PR agency Bryan Morel helping to boost clothing sales of its George brand.

Despite warnings of a bloodbath in its market, budget airline RyanAir jumped nine places on the back of a 30 per cent rise in profits in its first quarter.

HSBC rose from 12th to third place after a 53 per cent jump in pre-tax profits to $9.37bn (£5.1bn) for the six months to the end of June.

Egg plummeted 64 places to prop up the table on the back of another shares pounding. Cazenove sold £42.6m worth of stock – 25 per cent of available shares – while Prudential said it is to retain its 75 per cent stake.

British Airways slipped to second from bottom after unveiling a doubling of its fuel surcharge on long-haul flights after rises in crude-oil prices.

The Fire Brigades Union sank to fourth from bottom after balloting for a fresh round of strike action.

Reputation Monitor is compiled by Thomson Intermedia’s National News Index, a measure of media sentiment that excludes stock market reports and passing mentions.

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