Monday 23 April 2018

Ryanair spends almost €70m in share buybacks

Michael O'Leary
Michael O'Leary
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Ryanair has spent almost €70m in share buybacks since the airline's share price slumped earlier this month.

In total the airline has purchased 4m shares since September 14 at an average price of €16.85 each.

Shares purchased will be cancelled by the airline.

Ryanair has seen its share price slump recently on the back of a European Court of Justice ruling in relation to employment rights, as well as its cancelling of thousands of flights because of what it described as a "significant management failure in our rostering department".

There is nothing unusual or untoward about the share dealing, with Ryanair having announced in May this year that it was commencing a €600m buyback programme.

Yesterday the airline confirmed that the programme, which had been due to end on October 31, had concluded.

"Following the cancellation of the ordinary shares repurchased the company will have 1,183,788,409 ordinary shares in issue," it said yesterday in a statement to the Irish Stock Exchange.

Since September 14 just over 62m shares in Ryanair have been traded on the exchange, with share turnover in this period totalling just over €1bn. This is the company's second buyback programme in 12 months. Last November it launched a €500m programme. Earlier in 2016 the airline announced an €800m programme. Ryanair has returned €4.7bn to its investors over the past decade via special dividends and share buybacks.

Speaking on BBC Newsnight earlier this year, Michael O'Leary, CEO of Ryanair, inset said that the company was buying back 5pc of the airline's stock every year.

Citigroup and Davy Stockbrokers were buying the shares on behalf of Ryanair and would make trading decisions in relation to Ryanair's ordinary shares repurchased under the buy-back programme independently of, and uninfluenced by Ryanair, a statement from the airline in August said.

Earlier this week the Irish Independent reported that thousands of Ryanair pilots will hold crunch meetings across Europe this week. About 4,200 pilots work for the airline.

Irish Independent

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