Ryanair Boss Set For Huge Bonus

O'Leary Bonus Sets New Heights

Ryanair Shares Soar. Credit: NextNewMedia/Shutterstock.com

WHATEVER your views are of Ryanair, there is no denying its success, and the determination and business acumen of its boss Michael O’Leary.

Ryanair’s chief executive, O’Leary, is close to securing a staggering €100 million bonus, following the airline’s record share price surge.

On Friday, December 15, Ryanair’s shares reached €18.99, marking an impressive increase of over 50 per cent this year.

This surge not only underscores Ryanair’s dominance as Europe’s most valuable airline but also brings O’Leary a step closer to his lucrative bonus, agreed in 2019.

Ryanair’s Remarkable Market Triumph

Under the terms set in 2019, O’Leary is eligible for share options of around €100 million if Ryanair’s shares maintain a minimum of €21 for 28 days, or if the airline reports more than €2.2 billion in annual profits after tax.

This potential payout is poised to become one of the most substantial in European corporate history, offering O’Leary the chance to purchase 10 million shares at €11.12 each.

Financial experts anticipate an average share price target of €24 in the next 12 months, as per Bloomberg. Meanwhile, Ryanair forecasts its profit after tax to be between €1.85 billion and €2.05 billion for the fiscal year ending in March.

O’Leary’s Personal Investment

Originally planned to conclude in 2024, the incentive scheme was extended to 2028 last December, when share prices were below €13. Apart from his CEO remuneration of €925,000 in the last financial year, O’Leary holds a 3.9 per cent stake in Ryanair, currently valued at €907 million according to FactSet.

Growth Prospects

Ryanair, under O’Leary’s leadership since 1994, has experienced rapid expansion, solidifying its lead in the European low-cost aviation sector.

The airline aims to double its passenger numbers in the next decade and is currently the world’s second-most valuable airline by market capitalisation, trailing only Delta Air Lines in the US.

Despite some analysts questioning the capacity for further growth in Europe, O’Leary remains optimistic. ‘As long as we don’t do something stupid – which is a daily challenge in this industry – we will continue to wipe the floor with every other airline in Europe,’ he stated.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.