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Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary
Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary
Image: Jonathan Brady/PA Images

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary earned almost €10,000 a day in the past year

In the 12 months to March 2019, O’Leary pay package totalled €3.38 million.
Jul 31st 2019, 7:03 AM 27,317 45

RYANAIR BOSS MICHAEL O’Leary’s pay package totalled €3.38 million – or €9,260 a day – in the past year.

That is according to the Ryanair annual report which shows that O’Leary has received a bonus of €770,000 for his performance as he oversaw revenues increasing by 6% to €7.6 billion in the 12 months to the end of March this year.

During the year under review, Ryanair’s passenger numbers climbed by 9% to 142 million as additional costs and cheaper fares contributed to pre-tax profits reducing by 35% to €948 million.

The bonus of €770,000 followed the Ryanair boss losing out on almost €1 million in bonus pay in 2017/18 after volunteering to waive all of his performance bonuses as a result of the pilot rostering failure at the airline.

In the 12 months to the end of March 2019, O’Leary’s basic salary was €1.06 million; the bonus payment of €770,000 and share based compensation of €1.55 million.

The pay package to O’Leary in the 12 months to the end of March represents an increase of 46% on the €2.3 million pay package the previous year.

O’Leary signed a new five-year contract commencing on April 1st of this year and is due to expire 31 July 2024.

The report reveals that O’Leary has agreed to a 50% cut in base pay from approximately €1 million to €500,000 per annum and a 50% cut to his maximum annual bonus to €500,000.

The report states that the new contract also includes 10 million share options at a strike price of €11.12 which are exercisable at a price of €11.12 if the net income of Ryanair exceeds €2 billion in any year up to 2024.

The report states that these ambitious profit and share price targets means that Mr O’Leary “is fully aligned with, and committed to delivering superior returns for shareholders over the next 5 years”.

The report states: “The maximum annual accounting cost of the Group CEO’s remuneration is €2.8m over the 5-year term, comprising of base pay of €500,000 per annum, maximum performance bonus of up to €500,000 per annum and a €1.8m charge for 10m share options granted.”

The report states that O’Leary’s remuneration is considerably lower than many other European airline CEOs and less than O’Leary was paid in fiscal year 2016, 2017 and 2019

O’Leary has a 3.9% share in Ryanair which today has a value of €416m.

The value of Mr O’Leary’s shareholding has dropped by €215 million from €631 million this time last year as the market capitalisation of Ryanair has reduced from €16.2 billion to €10.69 billion today.

The aggregate pay by Ryanair to its nine executive officers topped €12.4 million in the 12 months to the end of March last.

Last year, Ryanair added 2,200 new jobs as numbers employed increased to over 16,840.

In his chief executive’s report, O’Leary described some of the challenges faced by Ryanair in the past year when he said: “Summer 2018 was a very difficult period with a heat wave in Northern Europe, the distraction of the Soccer World Cup in Russia, significant overcapacity in the EU market and an unprecedented series of Air Traffic Control strikes and staff shortages, which caused thousands of flight delays and cancellations for all airlines.”

He added: “We responded to these conditions by judicious base closures at Bremen and Eindhoven and capacity cuts at other underperforming bases.”

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Gordon Deegan

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