Reputation monitor: Compass rocked by CEO exit as high street suffers

Compass Group plunged to the bottom of this week’s Reputation Monitor, with news of chief executive Mike Bailey’s impending exit and shares at their lowest level for ten years.

The company is hoping to sell its retail catering business – which operates outlets in airports, railway stations and service stations – and concentrate on interests such as school dinners. It claimed high wage costs and the 7 July bombings were to blame for poor performance.

High-street gloom continued with business lobbyist CBI reporting retail sales at their lowest level for 22 years. Sales have fallen in 50 per cent of HMV stores, while House of Fraser revealed half-year pre-tax losses of more than £3m.

Tesco benefited from opening its first non-food store, Tesco Homeplus, near Manchester this week. Expanding on women's clothing brand Florence & Fred, it launched F&F for men.

Trials of O2's mobile TV – claimed to be superior to 3G because it uses a digital receiver rather than relying on the telecoms network – nudged it into second.

Nationwide and Halifax profited from coverage of their ATM 'free to use' signs in light of  public disquiet over fee-charging machines.
Reputation Monitor is compiled from Thomson Intermedia's National News Index, a measure of media sentiment that excludes stock market reports and passing mentions.

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