GREG HUTCHINGS, chief executive of Tomkins, was severely unsettled by the maelstrom of criticism and derision that greeted his pounds 935m bid for Ranks Hovis McDougall. Up until then, he had barely put a foot wrong as far as the City was concerned; suddenly, there he was being told he had overpaid horribly and would rue the day he bought a food manufacturer - an industry he had no experience of. Since then, he has quietly been proving his critics wrong. Analysts are this week due to get their first briefing since the takeover - progress with RHM appears to have been every bit as good as Tomkins expected. Running a food company, Mr Hutchings is likely to tell analysts, has proved to be no different from running any other company. Tomkins' management skills seem to be as effective in baking and milling as they have been with lawnmowers and guns. Faintly annoying that he should be so consistently right, isn't it?