Ryanair to pull London Stock Exchange listing because of Brexit

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Ryanair will pull its share listing from the London Stock Exchange in the next six months because of Brexit, as the airline made a quarterly profit for the first time since 2019.

The Irish carrier has pulled voting rights from non-EU shareholders but because of foreign ownership and control rules said it needed to deter UK investors.

It reported on Monday an after-tax loss of €48m (£41m) for the six months to September, broadly in line with expectations, pointing to a second quarter profit of €225m after a €273m loss reported for the first three months of the 2021-22 financial year.

Despite its first positive results since the onset of Covid-19, Ryanair said it expected an annual loss of up to €200m given the extent of discounting on fares needed to fill its planes over the winter.

It operated more flights this summer than its European rivals, and traffic grew again in October to 11.3 million passengers, higher even than summer. Ryanair carried 39.1 million passengers in the six months to the end of September, less than half the number it served in the same time in 2019.

Its chief executive, Michael O’Leary, said planes had been “full to the gills with families” in October half-term, boosted by Covid passes smoothing intra-EU travel.

O’Leary told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the airline would need to delist from London in 2022 under foreign ownership rules. He said: “We’ve removed voting rights from all non-EU shareholders post-Brexit, so we’re 100% EU-controlled. About 45% of our shares are held in America. We need to ensure the balance is held by EU nationals – that means, unfortunately, discouraging UK shareholders.

“Part of that process will be inevitably delisting from the London Stock Exchange in the next six months.”

He said most shares would be traded in Dublin and Brussels: “It’s sadly it’s an inevitable consequence of Brexit. It won’t fundamentally affect passengers … but increasingly we will want to have just European shareholders rather than UK shareholders.”

Source: The Guardian

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