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weekly Management Committee meetings, comprising of heads of departments, to review the performance and activities of each department in the Company;
detailed budgetary process which includes identifying risks and opportunities and which is ultimately approved at Board level;
Board approved capital expenditure and Audit Committee approved treasury policies which clearly define authorisation limits and procedures;
an internal audit function which reviews key financial/business processes and controls, and which has full and unrestricted access to the Audit Committee;
an Audit Committee which approves audit plans, considers significant control matters raised by management and the internal and external auditors and which is actively monitoring the Company‘s compliance with section 404 of the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002;
established systems and procedures to identify, control and report on key risks. Exposure to these risks is monitored by the Audit Committee and the Management Committee; and a risk management programme in place throughout the Company whereby executive management reviews and monitors the controls in place, both financial and non financial, to manage the risks facing the business.
On behalf of the Board, the Audit Committee has reviewed the effectiveness of the Company‘s system of risk management and internal control for the year ended March 31, 2014 and has reported thereon to the Board.
The Board has delegated to executive management the planning and implementation of the systems of internal control within an established framework which applies throughout the Company.
Takeover Bids Directive Information regarding rights and obligations attached to shares are set forth in Note 15 on pages 185 to 186 of the consolidated financial statements.
Shares in the Ryanair employee share schemes carry no control rights and shares are only issued (and gain voting rights) when options are exercised by employees.
Ryanair‘s Articles of Association do not contain any restrictions on voting rights. However, there are provisions in the Articles which allow the directors to (amongst other things) suspend the voting rights of a share if the Board believes the number of non-qualifying nationals holding shares in Ryanair would put it in breach of the Air Navigation Acts and licences and permits which allow it to operate. This is not an absolute restriction and can only occur if the Board designates a number of shares to be so restricted.
Ryanair has not received any notifications from shareholders (as shareholders are obliged to do) regarding any agreements between shareholders which might result in restrictions on the transfer of shares.
Details of the rules concerning the removal and appointment of the directors are set out above as part of this Directors‘ Report. There are no specific rules regarding the amendment of the Company‘s Articles of Association.
Details of the Company‘s share buy-back programme are set forth on page 121 of the Annual Report. The shareholders approved the power of the Company to buy back shares at the 2006 AGM and at subsequent AGM‘s.
None of the significant agreements to which the Company is party to, contain change of control provisions.
As referred to above in this Director‘s Report, Michael O‘Leary‘s employment agreement does not contain provisions providing for compensation on his termination.
After making enquiries, the directors have formed a judgment, at the time of approving the financial statements, that there is a reasonable expectation that the Company and the Group as a whole have adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future. For this reason, they continue to adopt the going concern basis in preparing the financial statements. The directors‘ responsibility for preparing the financial statements is explained on page 30 and the reporting responsibilities of the auditors are set out in their report on page 32.
Ryanair has complied, throughout the year ended March 31, 2014, with the provisions set out in the UK Corporate Governance Code and the requirements set out in the Irish Corporate Governance Annex except as outlined below. The Group has not complied with the following provisions of the 2012 Code, but continues to
review these situations on an ongoing basis:
A number of non-executive directors participate in the Company‘s share option plans. The 2012 Code requires that, if exceptionally, share options are granted to non-executive directors that shareholder approval should be sought in advance and any shares acquired by exercise of the options should be held until at least one year after the non-executive director leaves the board. In accordance with the 2012 Code, the Company sought and received shareholder approval to make certain stock option grants to its non-executive directors and as described above, the Board believes the quantum of options granted to non-executive directors is not so significant to impair their independence.
Certain non-executive directors, namely Messrs. David Bonderman, James Osborne, Kyran McLaughlin and Michael Horgan have each served more than nine years on the Board without being offered for annual re-election. As described further above, given the other significant commercial and professional commitments of these non-executive directors, and taking into account that their independence is considered annually by the Board, the Board does not consider their independence to be impaired in this regard.
Report on the Remuneration Committee on Directors‟ Remuneration The Remuneration Committee Details of the Remuneration Committee are set out within the Corporate Governance Statement on page 22 of the Annual Report.
The role and responsibilities of the Remuneration Committee are set out in its written terms of reference, which are available on the Company‘s website www.ryanair.com.
All members of the Remuneration Committee have access to the advice of the Chief Executive and may, in the furtherance of their duties, obtain independent professional advice at the Company‘s expense.
Remuneration Policy The remuneration policy of the Company is to ensure that the executive director and the senior key management team are rewarded competitively, having regard to the comparative marketplace in Ireland and the United Kingdom, in order to ensure that they are properly motivated to perform in the best interests of the shareholders. Details of the total remuneration paid to senior key management (defined as the executive team reporting to the Board of Directors) are set out in Note 27 of the consolidated Financial Statements.
Non-Executive Directors Details of the remuneration paid to non-executive directors are set out in Note 19(b) to the consolidated Financial Statements.
Directors can only be appointed following selection by the Nomination Committee and approval by the Board and must be elected by the shareholders at the Annual General Meeting following their appointment.
Ryanair‘s Articles of Association require that all directors retire after a fixed period not exceeding three years.
Directors can then offer themselves for re-election at the Company‘s Annual General Meeting.
None of the non-executive directors hold a service agreement with the Company that provides for benefits upon termination.
Executive Director The Chief Executive of the Company is the only executive director on the Board. Details of the remuneration paid to the Chief Executive are set out in Note 19(a) to the consolidated Financial Statements.
The Company entered into an employment agreement with the Chief Executive on July 1, 2002 for a one year period to June 30, 2003. Thereafter, the agreement continues for successive annual periods but may be terminated with 12 months notice by either party. This employment agreement does not contain provisions providing for compensation on its termination.
Performance Related Bonuses The Chief Executive and the key management team of the Company are eligible for a performance bonus and other bonuses dependent upon the achievement of certain financial targets.
Share Options Details of the share options granted to executive and non-executive directors are set forth in Note 19(d) to the consolidated Financial Statements.
Details of employee share option plans are set forth in Note 15(c) to the consolidated Financial Statements.
Directors Pension Benefits Details of the Chief Executive‘s pension benefits are set forth in Note 19(c) to the consolidated Financial Statements.
Directors Shareholdings The interests of each Director that held office at the end of fiscal 2014, in the share capital of the Company are set forth in Note 19(d) to the consolidated Financial Statements.
Statement of Directors‟ Responsibilities in respect of the Annual Report and the Financial Statements The directors are responsible for preparing the Annual Report and the consolidated and Company financial statements, in accordance with applicable law and regulations.
Company law requires the directors to prepare consolidated and Company financial statements for each financial year. Under that law, the directors are required to prepare the consolidated financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) as adopted by the European Union (EU) and have elected to prepare the Company financial statements in accordance with IFRSs as adopted by the EU and as applied in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Acts, 1963 to 2013. In preparing the consolidated financial statements the directors have also elected to comply with IFRSs as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).
The consolidated and Company financial statements are required by law and IFRSs as adopted by the EU, to present fairly the financial position of the Group and the Company and the performance of the Group.
The Companies Acts, 1963 to 2013 provide in relation to such financial statements that references in the relevant part of these Acts to financial statements giving a true and fair view are references to their achieving a fair presentation.
In preparing each of the consolidated and Company financial statements, the directors are required to:
select suitable accounting policies and then apply them consistently;
make judgements and estimates that are reasonable and prudent;
state that the financial statements comply with IFRSs as adopted by the EU as applied in accordance with the Companies Acts, 1963 to 2013 and IFRSs as issued by the IASB; and prepare the financial statements on the going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the Group and the Company will continue in business.
Under applicable law and the requirements of the Listing Rules issued by the Irish Stock Exchange, the directors are also responsible for preparing a Directors‘ Report and reports relating to directors‘ remuneration and corporate governance that comply with that law and those Rules. In particular, in accordance with the Transparency (Directive 2004/109/EC) Regulations 2007 (the Transparency Regulations), the directors are required to include in their report a fair review of the business and a description of the principal risks and uncertainties facing the Group and Company and a responsibility statement relating to those and other matters, included below.
The directors are responsible for keeping proper books of account that disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the Group and Company and enable them to ensure that its financial statements comply with the Companies Acts, 1963 to 2013 and, as regards the consolidated financial statements, Article 4 of the IAS Regulation. They are also responsible for taking such steps as are reasonably open to them to safeguard the assets of the Company and to prevent and detect fraud and other irregularities.
The directors are responsible for the maintenance of integrity of the corporate and financial information included on the Company‘s website. Legislation in the Republic of Ireland governing the preparation and dissemination of financial statements may differ from legislation in other jurisdictions.
Responsibility Statement, in accordance with the Transparency Regulations
Each of the directors, whose names and functions are listed on page 106 of the Annual Report confirm
that, to the best of their knowledge and belief:
the consolidated financial statements, prepared in accordance with IFRSs as adopted by the EU, give a true and fair view of the assets, liabilities and financial position of the Group at March 31, 2014 and of its profit for the year then ended;
the Company financial statements, prepared in accordance with IFRSs as adopted by the EU, as applied in accordance with the Companies Acts, 1963 to 2013, give a true and fair view of the assets, liabilities and financial position of the Company at March 31, 2014, and the Directors‘ Report contained in the Annual Report includes a fair review of the development and performance of the business and the position of the Group and Company, together with a description of the principal risks and uncertainties that they face.
Also, as explained in Note 1 on page 152 of the consolidated financial statements, the Group, in addition to complying with its legal obligation to comply with IFRSs as adopted by the EU, has also prepared its consolidated financial statements in compliance with IFRSs as issued by the IASB. The directors confirm that to the best of their knowledge and belief these consolidated financial statements give a true and fair view of the assets, liabilities and financial position of the Group at March 31, 2014 and of its profit for the year then ended.
Responsibility Statement, in accordance with the UK Corporate governance Code The annual financial statements, taken as a whole, is fair, balanced and understandable and provides the information necessary for shareholders to assess the Group‘s performance, business model and strategy.