Ryanair climbs table by defying raised oil prices

Budget airline Ryanair shrugged off rising oil prices to clinch second place in this week’s Reputation Monitor.

The company told the City it was bullish about profits despite oil prices of $75 (£40) a barrel. The press also reacted well to Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary’s combative style, with last Sunday’s Observer saying the airline ‘punched and headbutted way above its weight’.

Tesco came first and Asda took third spot after research company Defaqto said they offered competitive insurance deals.

Energy firm Powergen – which is set to rebrand under the name of German parent EON – slid to the bottom of the table after it emerged that thousands of elderly customers on its Staywarm tariff face soaring bills when their annual contracts come up for renewal.

The BBC reported that gas prices for Powergen’s six million customers had jumped by 17.6 per cent during 2004.

An anticipated fall in womenswear sales at Marks & Spencer drove it to the Monitor’s second-worst position. Meanwhile, coverage of alleged corruption by BAE Systems concerning Saudi Arabian arms deals in the 1990s saw it fall to third from bottom.

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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