First Choice and M&S on the up as Eurotunnel falls

First Choice Holidays rose to the top of this week's Reputation Monitor after unveiling significantly reduced losses.

The tour operator also benefited from publishing a consumer survey, in which 75 per cent of respondents regarded an annual holiday as essential, not a luxury.

Marks & Spencer made a spectacular comeback from second-worst performer last week, climbing to fourth on the back of reports that Icelandic investment group Baugur had spent £170m for a three per cent stake.

Last week's top performer Asda fell out of the top five as news broke of the threat of 300 redundancies at its Washington depot, in Tyne and Wear.

A Food Standards Agency report said only four and nine per cent of food sold at Asda and Tesco respectively revealed their salt content, compared with 100 per cent at M&S and Iceland.

Elsewhere, Eurotunnel fell to third from bottom as shareholders warned chairman Jacques Gounon that he had four weeks to come up with a rescue plan for the business, crippled by EUR8.9bn (£5.9bn) of debt. And department store Dickins & Jones fell into the bottom five following reports that it was to close after 170 years of trading.

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

REPUTATION MONITOR 14-20 June 2005

Ranking Rank last week Organisation NNI

Best performers

1 20 First Choice Holidays 93.2

2 8 BT Group 87.8

3 27 The Tote 87.2

4 1,553 Marks & Spencer 76.5

5 33 HSBC Bank 70.1

Worst performers*

1 1 Wm Morrison -175.5

2 4 MG Rover -109.5

3 17 Eurotunnel -102

4 9 BCCI -63.8

5 n/a Dickins & Jones n/a

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

position from bottom of table

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