Business Irish

Wednesday 20 November 2019

Michael O'Leary's pay soars to €1.3m after bonus increase

Gordon Deegan

RYANAIR chief executive Michael O'Leary was paid nearly €1.3m last year -- an increase of nearly 18pc -- after his bonus jumped.

The airline's annual report, published yesterday, reveals that Mr O'Leary was paid a basic salary of €768,000 in the 12 months to the end of March. That was up on the €595,000 he received a year earlier.

His bonus payments have shot up in the past two years. The report reveals that in the last financial year the outspoken airline chief was paid a €504,000 bonus.

That's 24pc higher than the €440,000 he received in the previous financial year and more than double his bonus the year before that.

Mr O'Leary also owns just over 51 million shares in Ryanair, the report confirms. They are currently valued at almost €203m.

He received the latest increase in bonus payments after steering the airline to record a 25pc increase in after-tax profits of €503m during the last financial year.

Ryanair reported figures this week that showed first-quarter profit fell 29pc to €99m. It's been hurt by rising fuel prices and the continuing economic turmoil in Europe. However, Ryanair still expects to make a profit of between €400m and €440m in its current financial year, which ends next March.

The annual report also shows that the total amount paid by Ryanair to its eight non-executive directors and nine executive officers during the 2012 fiscal year was €6m. Former Finance Minister, Charlie McCreevy is a non-executive director of the airline. Each of the company's non-executive directors last year received €32,000 plus expenses. The filings state that company chairman, US-based billionaire David Bonderman, waived his entitlement to receive this remuneration in fiscal year 2012, as in 2011.

Employment at Ryanair, which is currently engaged in its third takeover attempt of Aer Lingus, fell last year from 8,560 to 8,388 with staff costs topping €309m.

During the fiscal 2012 year, 47pc of an average flight attendant's total earnings and 37pc of a typical pilot's compensation were based on productivity incentive payments.

"Ryanair's objective is to firmly establish itself as Europe's biggest scheduled passenger airline, through continued improvements and expanded offerings of its low-fares service," the annual report notes.

Focus

"In the highly challenging current operating environment, Ryanair seeks to offer low fares that generate increased passenger traffic while maintaining a continuous focus on cost-containment and operating efficiencies."

In relation to the takeover bid for Aer Lingus, it adds:

"Ryanair has offered to keep Aer Lingus as a separate company, maintain the Aer Lingus brand, and to grow its traffic from 9.5m to over 14.5m passengers over a five-year period post acquisition, by growing Aer Lingus' short haul traffic at some of Europe's major airports where Aer Lingus currently operates and Ryanair does not."

Irish Independent

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