Ryanair capex to fall to €100m after fleet renewal shelved

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Irish budget carrier Ryanair confirms that its annual capital expenditure will fall to just €100 million ($143 million) in the year ending March 2013 following the abandonment of fleet-expansion plans.

The airline walked away from talks with Boeing over an order for 200 aircraft last month, opting instead to use the capital saved over 2011-12 to build cash reserves for shareholders.

Ryanair states today that its annual capital outlay, currently €1.2 billion, will drop to €100 million in three years' time.

"We expect our current cash reserves of €2.5 billion to grow substantially by March 2013 and we plan to distribute surplus cash to shareholders from that date," says chief Michael O'Leary.

Ryanair's passenger numbers - which are calculated on an earned-seats basis - increased by 13% to 65.3 million over 2009, with a load factor of 82%.

Its figures for December show that passenger numbers were up 12% to 4.9 million for the month.