Shares to net O’Leary €17.3m

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary is set to receive over €17m later this year when the airline makes a special dividend payout to its shareholders.

Yesterday, it emerged from Ryanair’s annual report that Mr O’Leary received €1.3m in pay and bonuses last year after guiding Ryanair to a record year of results with profits exceeding €500m.

The report confirmed that Mr O’Leary’s bonus payments increased by 24% from €440,000 to €504,000 after the 51-year old steered the airline to record a 25% increase in after-tax profits of €503m after revenues increased by 19% to €4.3bn as passenger numbers rose by 5% to 75.8m.

On Ryanair’s current market capitalisation of €5.81bn, Mr O’Leary’s shareholding of 3.5% of the airline’s shares is worth €203m.

Now, through his 51m shares in the airline, Mr O’Leary is to receive €17.3m in a dividend payout in November after the company’s AGM is due to give the special dividend the green light next month.

Ryanair’s annual report shows Mr O’Leary reduced his shareholding in the airline last year from 3.7% to 3.5% disposing of 4m shares.

Ryanair will distribute a €489m dividend to its shareholders later this year through the special dividend of 34c per share.

Mr O’Leary and airline chairman, David Bonderman will receive a combined €20.8m from the dividend payout.

The report shows Mr Bonderman — company chairman since 1996 — disposed of 4m shares last year to own 9.23m shares at the end of March and he is set to scoop €3.5m from the dividend payout.

James Osbourne, board member and former chairman of Independent News and Media, will receive €173,487 from his 510,256 shares.

The aggregate amount of compensation paid by Ryanair to the eight sitting non-executive directors and nine executive officers last year was €6m.

In his letter to shareholders, Mr O’Leary said: “It is remarkable that having raised just €559m from our flotation and four secondary offers in 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2002, Ryanair has now returned almost three times this amount (€1.53bn) to shareholders in recent years.”


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