Wednesday 24 January 2018

Ryanair foresees €1bn surplus, plans investor payouts

Ryanair has decided against buying 200 Boeing planes. Photo: Bloomberg News
Ryanair has decided against buying 200 Boeing planes. Photo: Bloomberg News

Steve Rothwell and Louisa Fahy

Ryanair has said a slowdown in its fleet expansion is likely to lead to a €1bn cash surplus that will be used for payments to investors.

The airline, which first sold stock in 1997 and has never paid a dividend, is forecasting the surplus after deciding against buying 200 Boeing planes.

The budget airline intends to make one-time payments starting at the end of its fiscal year in March 2013, Chief Executive Officer Michael O’Leary said today on a conference call.

“We expect the distribution to be lumpy and irregular,” O’Leary said on the call with investors and analysts.

“What I don’t want people to do is to start putting in an annual dividend stream.” He didn’t specify whether the entire surplus will be paid out to shareholders or the size of any payouts.

Talks with Chicago-based Boeing broke down in mid-December on an order for 737-800 series short-haul airliners that would have been delivered from 2013 until 2016.

Ryanair will still add 112 of the planes in the next three years, increasing its fleet by more than 50pc. Annual capital spending in fiscal 2013 will fall to €100m a year from €1.2bn as spending on aircraft declines, Ryanair said today.

Ryanair fell as much as 14 cents, or 3.9pc, to €3.39 and was down 1.5pc as of 3:29pm in Dublin trading. The stock rose 11pc last year, helping boost the carrier’s market value to €5.1bn today.


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