Profits increase at Aer Lingus

AER LINGUS chief executive Christoph Mueller was paid more than €1.13m last year — €483,000 of which was made up of a performance-related bonus.

Despite referring to 2010 as “a difficult year” at the publication of its annual results last month, the airline still managed to record a pre-tax profit of €30.4m against a 2009 pre-tax loss of €154.8m — and forecast continued profitability in 2011.

The publication of the airline’s annual report yesterday showed that Mr Mueller — who took over the top job at Aer Lingus from Dermot Mannion in the summer of 2009 — was paid a basic salary of €475,000 last year, received a pension contribution of €119,000 and a performance-related bonus of €483,000.

In total he received €1.132m, significantly up on the €171,000 he picked up in 2009, although last year was his first full year in his current role.

The report states: “The group was successful in achieving its targets for the 2010 financial year. As it performed above expectations, achieving a significant turnaround in its profitability, annual bonuses were paid at the between target and stretch level.”

It said incentives for executives and senior management would continue in 2011.

“In addition, the group plans to introduce a short-term bonus opportunity to incentivise and further support the company’s recovery, but may impose a deferment period in respect of any such bonuses earned,” it said.

Elsewhere, Andrew McFarlane, appointed as chief financial officer at the airline last October, received €209,000, after voluntarily agreeing to reduce his basic salary to €80,000. However, despite only joining the company in the final quarter of 2010, Mr McFarlane received a pension contribution of €26,000 and a performance-related bonus of €94,000.

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