Britain's Most Admired Companies: Britain's Top 10 Most Admired Companies

Management Today, December 1, 2015 | Go to article overview

Britain's Most Admired Companies: Britain's Top 10 Most Admired Companies


1. UNILEVER

Anglo-Dutch FMCG maestro (and 2010 winner) Unilever jumps 10 places to take the coveted gong of Britain's Most Admired Company for the second time. Unilever has picked up three of the nine overall criteria awards: for Quality of Marketing, Ability to Attract, Retain & Develop Top Talent and Financial Soundness. Turnover was up 11.1% to EUR40.4bn for the first nine months of the year and it achieved its ambition of sending zero waste to landfill across its European operations. So CEO Paul Polman is proving that tough sustainability targets and decent shareholder returns are not mutually exclusive.

2. JOHNSON MATTHEY

Despite a higher score this time, 2014's winner slips a place to second, but still manages to take the criteria award for Value as a Long-term Investment again, as well as the gong for Community & Environmental Responsibility. Johnson Matthey is best known for its market-leading position in automotive catalytic convertors, but under CEO Robert MacLeod it has also begun branching out into batteries and fuel cell technology. In June it sold its Alfa Aesar research chemicals arm for pounds 256m. First-half sales were up 5% to pounds 5.58bn, although profits slipped slightly to pounds 208.3m.

3. DERWENT LONDON

Continued strong demand for space in its tech belt offices - such as the landmark White Collar Factory near the renowned Old Street Roundabout - has helped Derwent London to its best-ever year for rentals, with 501,500 sq ft of space let for annual income of pounds 26.2m in the first nine months of 2015. A further 308,000 sq ft is under construction. No surprises then that it's risen six places from 2014, and has also nabbed the criteria awards for Quality of Goods & Services and Innovation, too. The largest London-focused real estate investment trust specialises in reconfigurable 'workspaces'.

4. EASYJET

Fourth place overall and an historic win for CEO Carolyn McCall, the first ever woman to be named Britain's Most Admired Leader. What better way for the high-flying low-cost airline to celebrate its 20th anniversary? Record passenger numbers over the summer - in excess of 7m for both July and August, with load factors well over 90% - saw full-year profits rise 18% to pounds 68bn, on revenues of pounds 4.69bn Despite coming out in favour of a new runway at Heathrow, easyJet remains committed to its base at Gatwick too - it has just opened a new pounds 2.7m crew training centre there.

5. BERKELEY GROUP

A 15-place jump sees chairman Tony Pidgley's south-east focused luxury home and apartment builder firmly back in the top 10 this year. High-profile projects - such as its part in the residential redevelopment of the old BBC Television Centre in west London - plus strong demand for city centre apartments helped the group build getting on for 4,000 new homes in the year to April 2015, and make a profit of pounds 539.7m for the same period. Managing director Rob Perrins recently called for building on the green belt to be allowed, in order to address the London property shortage.

6. BETFAIR

Up a hefty 32 places, Betfair beats the odds to make it this year's highest-climbing top 10 entry. …

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