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Ryanair doubles O'Leary's bonus taking pay back to 2009 levels

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary was paid a €440,000 bonus in the airline's last financial year -- almost double the €241,000 he received in the 2010 period, according to the airline's annual report published yesterday.

On top of his basic €595,000 salary, and a pension contribution, the bonus brought his total remuneration for the last financial year to approximately €1.1m. But the bonus only brings Mr O'Leary's total remuneration back to the level he received in 2009.

In Ryanair's 2009 financial year, Mr O'Leary took a voluntary 10pc pay cut that brought his salary to €595,000, while in the 12 months to the end of March 2010, his bonus was nearly halved to €241,000 despite the airline reporting a near tripling of profits.

Under Mr O'Leary's employment contract, he's eligible for a performance bonus of up to 50pc of his basic salary, as well as other unspecified bonuses, dependent on the achievement of certain financial targets.

"It is considered that the shareholding of the chief executive acts to align his interests with those of shareholders and gives him a keen incentive to perform to the highest levels," the Ryanair annual report notes.


Mr O'Leary, who turned 50 in March, owns about 3.7pc of Ryanair, or 55 million shares. They're currently worth about €184m. The airline recently paid a €500m dividend to shareholders, with Mr O'Leary receiving close to €20m as a result.

The airline could pay another major dividend in 2013.

On Monday, the Ryanair chief declined to say whether he planned to sell any of his shares in the airline this summer. Mr O'Leary sold shares worth €20m last summer.

A handful of other senior executives -- who include joint deputy chief executives Michael Cawley and Howard Millar -- were paid a total of €6.5m in the last financial year.

That was down from the €7.4m they received in the previous year and over 20pc less than the €8.2m they were paid in the 2009 financial year.

Mr Cawley is Ryanair's chief operating officer, while Mr Millar is chief financial officer.

Former finance minister and European Commissioner Charlie McCreevy, who joined the Ryanair board as a non-executive during the last financial year, was paid a total of almost €40,000.

As with other Ryanair non-executive directors, he's entitled to €32,000 per annum plus expenses. Chairman David Bonderman waived his remuneration.

This week, Ryanair reported a 1pc rise in net profit to €139m for the first quarter.

Irish Independent