Ryanair says it will continue to buyback shares in the second half of its 2014 fiscal year as the Irish budget carrier aims to close more than €400 million ($540 million) in transactions.
During the first half, to 30 September 2013, Ryanair purchased 24.1 million ordinary shares for €176.6 million buy-back transactions. It closed a further €75 million in buy-back transactions last month by purchasing another 10 million shares.
The carrier says it plans to execute at least €150 million of further share buybacks before 31 March 2014, the end of its 2014 fiscal year.
Ryanair ended the first half with €1.21 billion worth of cash and cash equivalents, up from €1.95 billion in last year’s interim period.
Gross cash decreased by €98.1 million since 31 March, 2013 to €3.46 billion and gross debt fell by €212 million to €3.29 billion. The group generated cash from operating activities of €561.8 million which funded net capital expenditure of €291.7 million, €176.6 million share buy-back programme and debt repayments.
At 30 September, 2013 Ryanair had an operating fleet of 301 Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The carrier has agreed to purchase an additional 175 new 737-800s for delivery between fiscal year 2015 and 2019.
On 20 June, the company detailed plans to return up to €1 billion to shareholders during the next two years with at least €400 million in share buybacks in the current fiscal year, and up to a further €600 million in either special dividends or share buybacks in the fiscal year to 31 March, 2015.