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Sale or Disposition of Ordinary Shares or ADRs. Gains or losses realized by a U.S. Holder on the sale or other disposition of ADRs generally will be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as capital gains or losses, which generally will be long-term capital gains or losses if the ADRs have been held for more than one year. The net amount of long-term capital gain recognized by an individual holder post January 1, 2013 generally is subject to taxation at a maximum rate of 20%. Effective January 1, 2013, a Medicare contribution tax of 3.8% may also be applicable to U.S. individuals, estates and trusts. Gains realized by a U.S. Holder generally will constitute income from sources within the United States for foreign tax credit purposes and generally will constitute ―passive category‖ income for such purposes. The deductibility of capital losses, in excess of capital gains, is subject to limitations.
Deposits and withdrawals of Ordinary Shares by U.S. Holders in exchange for ADRs will not result in the realization of gain or loss for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
Non-U.S. Holders. A holder of Ordinary Shares or ADRs that is, with respect to the United States, a foreign corporation or a nonresident alien individual (a ―Non-U.S. Holder‖) generally will not be subject to U.S.
federal income or withholding tax on dividends received on such Ordinary Shares or ADRs unless such income is effectively connected with the conduct by such holder of a trade or business in the United States. A Non-U.S.
Holder of ADRs or Ordinary Shares will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax or withholding tax in respect of gain realized on the sale or other disposition of Ordinary Shares or ADRs, unless (i) such gain is effectively connected with the conduct by such holder of a trade or business in the United States or (ii) in the case of gain realized by an individual Non-U.S. Holder, such Non-U.S. Holder is present in the United States for 183 days or more in the taxable year of the sale and certain other conditions are met.
Copies of Ryanair Holdings‘ Articles may be examined at its registered office and principal place of business at its Corporate Head Office, Airside Business Park, Swords, County Dublin, Ireland.
Ryanair Holdings also files reports, including annual reports on Form 20-F, periodic reports on Form 6K and other information, with the SEC pursuant to the rules and regulations of the SEC that apply to foreign private issuers. You may read and copy any materials filed with the SEC at its Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549. You may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330.
Item 11. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Ryanair is exposed to market risks relating to fluctuations in commodity prices, interest rates and currency exchange rates. The objective of financial risk management at Ryanair is to minimize the negative impact of commodity price, interest rate and foreign exchange rate fluctuations on the Company‘s earnings, cash flows and equity.
To manage these risks, Ryanair uses various derivative financial instruments, including cross currency interest rate swaps, foreign currency forward contracts and commodity forwards. These derivative financial instruments are generally held to maturity and are not actively traded. The Company enters into these arrangements with the goal of hedging its operational and balance sheet risk. However, Ryanair‘s exposure to commodity price, interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations cannot be neutralized completely.
In executing its risk management strategy, Ryanair currently enters into forward contracts for the purchase of some of the jet fuel (jet kerosene) that it expects to use. It also uses foreign currency forward contracts intended to reduce its exposure to risks related to foreign currencies, principally the U.S. dollar.
Furthermore, it enters into interest rate contracts with the objective of fixing certain borrowing costs and hedging principal repayments, particularly those associated with the purchase of new Boeing 737-800s. Ryanair is also exposed to the risk that the counterparties to its derivative financial instruments may not be creditworthy.
Were a counterparty to default on its obligations under any of the instruments described below, Ryanair‘s economic expectations when entering into these arrangements might not be achieved and its financial condition could be adversely affected. Transactions involving derivative financial instruments are also relatively illiquid as compared with those involving other kinds of financial instruments. It is Ryanair‘s policy not to enter into transactions involving financial derivatives for speculative purposes.
The following paragraphs describe Ryanair‘s fuel hedging, foreign currency and interest rate swap arrangements and analyze the sensitivity of the market value, earnings and cash flows of the financial instruments to hypothetical changes in commodity prices, interest rates and exchange rates as if these changes had occurred at March 31, 2014. The range of changes selected for this sensitivity analysis reflects Ryanair‘s view of the changes that are reasonably possible over a one-year period.
FUEL PRICE EXPOSURE AND HEDGING
Fuel costs constitute a substantial portion of Ryanair‘s operating expenses (approximately 46.0% and 45.3% of such expenses in fiscal years 2014 and 2013, respectively, after taking into account Ryanair‘s fuel hedging activities). Ryanair engages in fuel price hedging transactions from time to time, pursuant to which Ryanair and a counterparty agree to exchange payments equal to the difference between a fixed price for a given quantity of jet fuel and the market price for such quantity of jet fuel at a given date in the future, with Ryanair receiving the amount of any excess of such market price over such fixed price and paying to the counterparty the amount of any deficit of such fixed price under such market price.
Ryanair has historically entered into arrangements providing for substantial protection against fluctuations in fuel prices, generally through forward contracts covering periods of up to 18 months of anticipated jet fuel requirements. See ―Item 3. Key Information—Risk Factors—Risks Related to the Company—Changes in Fuel Costs and Fuel Availability Affect the Company‘s Results and Increases the Likelihood that the Company May Incur Losses‖ for additional information on recent trends in fuel costs and the Company‘s related hedging activities, as well as certain associated risks. See also ―Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects—Fiscal Year 2014 Compared with Fiscal Year 2013—Fuel and Oil.‖ As of July 25, 2014, Ryanair had entered into forward jet fuel (jet kerosene) contracts covering approximately 90% of its estimated requirements for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015 at prices equivalent to approximately $950 per metric ton. In addition, as of July 25, 2014, Ryanair had entered into forward jet fuel (jet kerosene) contracts covering approximately 55% of its estimated requirements for the first half of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016 at prices equivalent to approximately $950 per metric ton, and had not entered into any jet fuel hedging contracts with respect to its expected fuel purchases beyond that period.
While these hedging strategies can cushion the impact on Ryanair of fuel price increases in the short term, in the medium to longer-term, such strategies cannot be expected to eliminate the impact on the Company of an increase in the market price of jet fuel. The unrealized gains on outstanding forward agreements at March 31, 2014 and 2013, based on their fair values, amounted to €17.2 million and €34.9 million (gross of tax), respectively. Based on Ryanair‘s fuel consumption for the 2014 fiscal year, a change of $1.00 in the average annual price per metric ton of jet fuel would have caused a change of approximately €2.0 million in Ryanair‘s fuel costs. See ―Item 3. Key Information—Risk Factors—Risks Related to the Company—Changes in Fuel Costs and Fuel Availability Affect the Company‘s Results and Increase the Likelihood that the Company May Incur Losses.‖ Under IFRS, the Company‘s fuel forward contracts are treated as cash-flow hedges of forecast fuel purchases for risks arising from the commodity price of fuel. The contracts are recorded at fair value in the balance sheet and are re-measured to fair value at the end of each fiscal period through equity to the extent effective, with any ineffectiveness recorded through the income statement. The Company has considered these hedges to be highly effective in offsetting variability in future cash flows arising from fluctuations in the market price of jet fuel because the jet fuel forward contracts typically relate to the same quantity, time, and location of delivery as the forecast jet fuel purchase being hedged and the duration of the contracts is typically short.
Accordingly, the quantification of the change in expected cash flows of the forecast jet fuel purchase is based on the jet fuel forward price, and in the 2014 fiscal year, the Company recorded no hedge ineffectiveness within earnings. The Company has recorded no level of ineffectiveness on its jet fuel hedges in its income statements to date. In the 2014 fiscal year, the Company recorded a positive fair-value adjustment of €15.0 million (net of tax) within accumulated other comprehensive income in respect of jet fuel forward contracts, and in the 2013 fiscal year, the Company recorded a positive fair-value adjustment of €30.6 million (net of tax) within accumulated other comprehensive income.
FOREIGN CURRENCY EXPOSURE AND HEDGING
In recent years, Ryanair‘s revenues have been denominated primarily in two currencies, the euro and U.K. pound sterling. The U.K. pound sterling and the euro accounted for approximately 25% and 63%, respectively, of Ryanair‘s total revenues in both the 2014 and 2013 fiscal years. As Ryanair reports its results in euro, the Company is not exposed to any material currency risk as a result of its euro-denominated activities.
Ryanair‘s operating expenses are primarily denominated in euro, U.K. pounds sterling and U.S. dollars.
Ryanair‘s operations can be subject to significant direct exchange rate risks between the euro and the U.S. dollar because a significant portion of its operating costs (particularly those related to fuel purchases) is incurred in U.S. dollars, while none of its revenues are denominated in U.S. dollars. Appreciation of the euro against the U.S. dollar positively impacts Ryanair‘s operating income because the euro equivalent of its U.S. dollar operating costs decreases, while depreciation of the euro against the U.S. dollar negatively impacts operating income. It is Ryanair‘s policy to hedge a significant portion of its exposure to fluctuations in the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the euro. From time to time, Ryanair hedges its operating surpluses and shortfalls in U.K. pound sterling. Ryanair matches certain U.K. pound sterling costs with U.K. pound sterling revenues and may choose to sell any surplus U.K. pound sterling cash flows for euro.
Hedging associated with the income statement. In the 2014 and 2013 fiscal years, the Company entered into a series of forward contracts, principally euro/U.S. dollar forward contracts to hedge against variability in cash flows arising from market fluctuations in foreign exchange rates associated with its forecast fuel, maintenance and insurance costs and euro/U.K. pound sterling forward contracts to hedge certain surplus U.K.
pound sterling cash flows. At March 31, 2014, the total unrealized loss relating to these contracts amounted to €51.2 million, compared to a €47.4 million unrealized gain at March 31, 2013.
Under IFRS, these foreign currency forward contracts are treated as cash-flow hedges of forecast U.S.
dollar and U.K. pound sterling purchases to address the risks arising from U.S. dollar and U.K. pound sterling exchange rates. The derivatives are recorded at fair value in the balance sheet and are re-measured to fair value at the end of each reporting period through equity to the extent effective, with ineffectiveness recorded through the income statement. Ryanair considers these hedges to be highly effective in offsetting variability in future cash flows arising from fluctuations in exchange rates, because the forward contracts are timed so as to match exactly the amount, currency and maturity date of the forecast foreign currency-denominated expense being hedged. In the 2014 fiscal year, the Company recorded a negative fair-value adjustment of €86.3 million (net of tax) within accumulated other comprehensive income in respect of these contracts, as compared to a negative adjustment of €42.3 million in the 2013 fiscal year.
Hedging associated with the balance sheet. In prior years, the Company entered into a series of cross currency interest rate swaps to manage exposures to fluctuations in foreign exchange rates of US dollardenominated floating rate borrowings, together with managing the exposures to fluctuations in interest rates on these US dollar-denominated floating rate borrowings. Cross currency interest rate swaps are primarily used to convert a portion of the Company‘s U.S. dollar-denominated debt to euro and floating rate interest exposures into fixed rate exposures and are set so as to match exactly the critical terms of the underlying debt being hedged (i.e. notional principal, interest rate settings, re-pricing dates). These are all classified as cash-flow hedges of the forecasted U.S. dollar variable interest payments on the Company‘s underlying debt and have been determined to be highly effective in achieving offsetting cash flows. Accordingly, no ineffectiveness has been recorded in the income statement relating to these hedges.
At March 31, 2014, the fair value of the cross currency interest rate swap agreements relating to this U.S. dollar-denominated floating rate debt was represented by a loss of €25.9 million (gross of tax) compared to a loss of €11.7 million in fiscal 2013. In the 2014 fiscal year, the Company recorded a negative fair-value adjustment of €12.4 million (net of tax), compared to a loss of €3.7 million in fiscal 2013, within accumulated other comprehensive income in respect of these contracts.