easyJet Lifts Dividend 105%

Published in Company Comment on 20 November 2012

easyJet (LSE: EZJ) sees its share price fly on positive results.

Shares in easyJet (LSE: EZJ) lifted 5% this morning, to 685.00p from last night's close of 652.50p, following the release of the budget airline's final results, in which the headline figure stated a 27.9% increase in pre-tax profits.

That saw profit before tax up to £317m compared to 2011's final figure of £248m. Elsewhere in the results, total revenue jumped up 11.6% to £3.85bn against £3.45bn at the same point last year.

However, private investors will be buoyed by the news from easyJet chief executive Carolyn McCall, who said:

"As evidence of its confidence in easyJet's current position and future prospects, the Board proposes to increase the dividend from 10.5p to 21.5p for the year ended September 2012."

That's a whopping 104.8% increase, while earnings per share grew 19% to 62.5p per share. The news means that easyJet shareholders will benefit to the tune of £85m in dividends.

The airline pointed towards an increase in the seats flown, after growing by 5.5% to 65.9 million, while load factors increased by 1.4 percentage points to 88.7% and passenger numbers rose 7.1% to 58.4 million. 

Carolyn McCall continued: "These results demonstrate that easyJet is a structural winner in the European short-haul market against both legacy and low cost competition. The strength of easyJet's business model and strategy coupled with the hard work and dedication of the easyJet team has delivered record profits as well as a significant increase in returns for shareholders during the year."

Shares in easyJet have now exceeded their previous five-year high of 666.41p, achieved in October 2007, having reached a low of 221.38p in that time in November the following year at the height of the financial crisis. Shareholders who bought into easyJet at that time will be delighted, having taken the plunge when the company was unloved.

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> Sam does not own shares in easyJet.

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