Ryanair Condemns Paltry Aer Lingus Dividend As An Insult To Irish Govt
Ryanair, Ireland’s favourite airline, today (4 May) welcomed Aer Lingus’s decision to pay shareholders a dividend, which highlighted the Govt’s continuing control over the Board and policies of Aer Lingus. Ryanair’s call for a dividend over the past three years were repeatedly ignored and Ryanair was prevented from tabling a request for a dividend at last year’s AGM, yet within weeks of Minister Leo Varadkar calling for a dividend, the Board of Aer Lingus has done as he requested and declared one.
However, Ryanair condemned the proposed 3c per share dividend (€15.9m) as paltry and an insult to Minister Varadkar from a company with a gross cash pile of over €1bn and net cash balances of over €400m. The Irish Govt will receive a dividend of less that €4m from Aer Lingus which will make no difference whatsoever to Govt finances.
Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said
“Aer Lingus could easily afford a dividend of €50m which would generate €12.5m for Minister Varadkar while still leaving Aer Lingus with almost €1bn of gross cash, which the airline doesn’t need since it has no aircraft orders, no material capital expenditures and no expansion plans. Today’s dividend of 3c per share is an insult to Minister Varadkar and the Irish Govt.”