British Land, Virgin Mobile and C&W surge up chart

FTSE 100 real-estate giant British Land jumped into third place in this week's Reputation Monitor after CEO Stephen Hester stamped his authority with an £811m bid for Pillar Property.

The move, coupled with a 17 per cent rise in pre-tax profits, saw the company climb into the top five for the first time.

Healthy figures also helped Virgin Mobile, which came fifth after reporting a 27 per cent rise in full-year profits to just over £100m.

Cable & Wireless's (C&W) ambitious plan to double its broadband internet presence in local exchanges over the next two years propelled it to fourth.

News was not so good for Marks & Spencer, which came bottom after losing market share in almost every area of clothing and announcing a controversial overhaul of contracts for its 66,000 shop-floor staff.

Morrisons came second from bottom after questions over its leadership, while Abbey plummeted to the third-worst spot after the Financial Services Authority ordered it pay compensation and criticised its handing of endowment mortgage misselling complaints. Union backing for Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy's pay rise enabled the retailer to stay top.

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

REPUTATION MONITOR - 24-30 MAY 2005

Ranking Rank last week Organisation NNI

Best performers

1 1 Tesco 192.6

2 3 Asda 181.4

3 7 British Land 106.7

4 42 Cable & Wireless 76.4

5 60 Virgin Mobile 60.3

Worst performers*

1 3 Marks & Spencer -268.3

2 1 Morrisons -176

3 286 Abbey -92.1

4 4 MG Rover -82.8

5 11 Enron -62.4

Source: www.newsmetrics.co.uk/Thomson Intermedia plc *Rank last week is

position from bottom of table

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