O’Leary got €5,000 a day after Ryanair hiked bonus

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary was paid almost €5,000 a day in pay by the airline last year after receiving a 55% increase in bonus pay.

New figures show that the colourful 53-year-old chief executive secured an overall 37% pay increase in the 12 months to March 31 this year to €1.7m or €4,797 a day, as he oversaw the airline achieve revenues topping €5bn and pre-tax profits of €591.4m.

The pre-tax profits achieved represented a 9% drop on the €650.9m in pre-tax profits in the 2013 fiscal year.

However, O’Leary is being rewarded by the airline after overhauling the way Ryanair interacts with its customers, by remodelling the airline and its website to a new customer-friendly model.

O’Leary also laid the foundation for long-term growth last year by agreeing to purchase 180 new aircraft from Boeing, with the first to be delivered by September of this year.

According to the airline’s 2014 annual report, published yesterday, Mr O’Leary secured the increase in pay through an annual gross salary of €968,425 and topped it up with a bonus of €783,000. This compares to a gross salary of €768,000 and bonus of €504,000 paid to O’Leary in 2012-2013.

However, Mr O’Leary’s pay is dwarfed by the value of his 3.7% share in the airline that yesterday had a market value of €355m based on the airline’s current market capitalisation of €9.59bn.

The remaining directors and executive officers at the airline have a 0.6% shareholding in the airline, at a value of €57m, with chairman, David Bonderman holding the vast majority of this, owning 0.55% of shares. The aggregate pay for Ryanair’s nine non-executive directors and nine executive officers totalled €7.9m in fiscal 2014, compared to €7.1m in 2012/13 — an increase of 11%.

The pay for the senior key management and directors represents a 58% increase on the €5m paid in 2012.

The pay last year included share-based compensation expense of €1m.

Former minister for finance, Charlie McCreevy and former general secretary at the Department of Transport, Julie O’Neill both serve on the Ryanair board and each received €50,000 last year.


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