Wednesday 20 June 2018

Airline capitalises on slump by buying back €12m of its shares

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Ryanair has capitalised on a slump in its share price - by paying €12m to purchase 715,000 of its own shares as part of an ongoing €600m buy-back programme.

Shares in the airline initially tumbled last week on the back of a European Court of Justice ruling in relation to employment rights following a case taken by a handful of Ryanair employees in Belgium. On Monday, the shares fell further as it emerged the airline was cancelling thousands of flights in the coming weeks.

Ryanair confirmed to the stock exchange yesterday morning that on Monday it purchased the 715,000 shares at an average price of €16.68 apiece.

The shares will be cancelled by the airline.

Such purchases under a share buy-back programme usually tend to drive up a company's share price. Ryanair's shares closed 1.2pc higher in Dublin yesterday at €16.94. There's nothing untoward about the share dealing, with a company's brokers - in Ryanair's case, Citigroup and Davy Stockbrokers - typically taking advantage of any share weakness during a buy-back programme to acquire shares for cancellation on behalf of their client. By buying shares in itself now, Ryanair saved approximately €1m compared to if it had bought them before the controversy of recent days.

Ryanair announced last May that it would spend €600m buying back its own shares.

Ryanair's current buy-back programme is scheduled to end on October 31. The airline has returned €4.7bn to its investors over the past decade via special dividends and share buybacks.

Irish Independent

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