By Lea Pachta

From holiday camps to bicycle insurers and car manufacturers, today 25 leading companies have been announced as the UK’s representatives in the next stage of the 2010 European Business Awards sponsored by HSBC.

The 25 country representatives were selected following a rigorous judging process and will now compete with other country representatives from across Europe for one of just 100 ‘Ruban d’Honneur’ prizes, to be announced in July. Ruban d’Honneur winners go on for selection to win one of just eight category European Business Awards, to be revealed in November.

The full list of UK country representatives includes; Admiral Group, ARM, Auros, Bike Insurer Services, Bovis Lend Lease, Brandon Medical, Butlins, Centrica, CobraUK Automative and Aerospace Products, Content and Code, flexlife LTD, Futerra, Infinis, Morgan Motor Company Limited, Production Services Network — PSN, Quickstart Global, Rackspace, Robert Wiseman Dairies, Romax Technology Limited, Safestore Holdings Plc, ScriptSwitch, SimplyBiz, The British Land Company Plc, The Fairtrade Foundation and Trimega.

Noel Quinn, HSBC Head of Commercial Banking, UK, commented: “We offer our sincere congratulations to each of these companies, which represent an excellent snap shot of the sheer diversity and quality of the UK’s business community today. Each and every one of these businesses will provide tough competition for the other quality businesses representing their own nations this year, and we wish them every success at the next stage.”

“The European Business Awards provide a great platform to recognise how businesses have excelled despite the financial uncertainty of the past two years. Entries this year have been of a particularly high calibre, highlighting UK businesses impressive ability to innovate and generate financial growth despite economic challenges — regardless of sector or size.”

Country representatives will now face a second wave of intense judging by a panel including representatives from Diageo plc, Deutsche Telekom and the Telegraph Media Group*. They will evaluate the entries and select the top scoring companies to become the Ruban d’Honneur recipients in each category, announced on 29th July.

Adrian Tripp, Chief Executive of the European Business Awards, said: “Each year we witness impressive entries from many outstanding companies who have some great stories to tell. This year is no different; the quality of applicants is rising as are the number of entrants, so these organisations who have achieved country representative status truly are the best of the best. They will go on to fly the flag for their countries as they battle it out across Europe in the next round to scoop a Ruban d’Honneur.”

Ruban d’Honneur recipients will be invited to attend the final stage of the competition in September when they will be asked to give face-to-face presentations to judges who will then determine the overall European Business Award winner in each category. European Business Award winners will be honoured at a gala Awards presentation at The Westin Hotel, Paris, on 16th November before an audience of over 400 of Europe's top politicians, business leaders and media.

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