Ryanair will withdraw its share listing from London Stock Exchange within the next six-months due to Brexit. Ryanair made a quarterly profit for first time since 2019 and will be relist.
Although the Irish carrier pulled voting rights from non EU shareholders, foreign ownership and control rules required it to deter UK investors.
The company reported Monday a 48m (41m), after-tax loss for the six months to September. This is broadly in line of expectations and points to a second quarter profit, which will be 225m, after a 273m loss for the first three month of the 2021-22 financial years.
Ryanair reported that it expects a loss of 200m annually despite its first positive results after the introduction of Covid-19. This is due to the amount of discounted fares Ryanair uses to fill its planes during winter.
Ryanair flew more passengers this summer than European competitors, and its traffic increased in October to 11.3million passengers. This is a higher number than it served in summer. Ryanair served 39.1million passengers between September and September 2018, a fraction of the total number that it had in 2019.
Michael OLeary, its chief executive, stated that planes were full to the gills of families in October half term, aided by Covid passes, which smoothen intra-EU travel.
OLeary stated to BBC Radio 4's Today that the airline would have to delist from London by 2022, under foreign ownership rules. He stated that voting rights were removed from non-EU shareholders after Brexit. So, the airline was 100% EU-controlled. Around 45% of our shares are owned in America. We must ensure that the balance is held in America by EU citizens. This will discourage UK shareholders.
In the next six-months, part of this process will include delisting from London Stock Exchange.
He stated that most shares would be traded in Dublin or Brussels. It is a sad consequence of Brexit. While it won't affect passengers in any way, we will be more inclined to have only European shareholders than UK shareholders.
Subscribe to Business Today's daily email or follow Guardian Business @BusinessDesk on Twitter.
OLeary, who believes the pandemic presents the greatest growth opportunities in his career of three decades, lifted Ryanair's five-year growth goal to fly 225 million passengers a calendar year by 2026 from 200 million.
Ryanair has increased its passenger target for its financial years to March 2022 from just over 100 million to just under 100 million. The airline flew 149million passengers in the year prior to the pandemic.
The airline stated that it expected to return to pre-Covid profitability by the end of March 2023.