Rebel in­vestors turn on Ryanair over pay­outs to ex­ec­u­tives

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Alan Tovey

RYANAIR has suf­fered a share­holder re­bel­lion, with more than a third of in­vestor votes against ex­ec­u­tive pay at the air­line’s an­nual meet­ing.

The protest came with Michael O’Leary, its chief ex­ec­u­tive, in line for a bonus of €458,000 (£418,200) de­spite the cri­sis in the in­dus­try. Ryanair has taken £600m in sup­port from the UK Gov­ern­ment and fur­loughed thou­sands of em­ploy­ees, with plans to make thou­sands more re­dun­dant.

Some 34.2pc of the vote was against ex­ec­u­tive pay, with 65.8pc sup­port­ing it, and 1.9pc of shares ab­stain­ing, mean­ing the pay res­o­lu­tion was ap­proved.

Mr O’Leary re­ceived a to­tal of €3.47m. Of this, €500,000 was base pay, down from €1m a year ago, and which will be halved next year in re­sponse to the coro­n­avirus.

It also in­cluded €2.5m of shares­based pay­ments. His €458,000 bonus was be­low the max­i­mum €500,000 he could have re­ceived.

Share­holder ad­vi­sory group ISS had urged in­vestors to vote against the re­mu­ner­a­tion re­port, say­ing it was “dif­fi­cult to jus­tify” a bonus at 92pc of the max­i­mum pos­si­ble in the face of the cri­sis in avi­a­tion.

ISS added: “Many of the larger UK listed com­pa­nies in less chal­leng­ing cir­cum­stances than Ryanair have ei­ther de­ferred or can­celled ex­ec­u­tive bonus pay­outs al­to­gether in light of the cur­rent cli­mate, in a show of sol­i­dar­ity with key stake­holder groups.”

The air­line said that where res­o­lu­tions re­ceived a vote of 20pc or more against them, di­rec­tors would “con­sult with share­hold­ers”.

Ryanair’s re­sults in July showed a col­lapse in the air­line’s finances in the three months to the end of June.

The firm’s rev­enues of €125m were down 95pc on the same pe­riod a year ear­lier, and it plunged to a €185m net loss, com­pared with a €243m profit last time round.

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