Rebel investors turn on Ryanair over payouts to executives
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.