EasyJet investors in line for £190m dividend
Published 23/09/2011 | 05:00
EasyJet, Europe's second- biggest discount airline, said it will more than quadruple the size of its first-ever dividend payment to £190m (€217m) after predicting record full-year earnings.
Shareholders will get an ordinary dividend of 9p a share, equal to £40m or one-fifth of the pre-tax profit first forecast, as previously promised, plus a one-off payment worth £150m, the UK carrier said.
EasyJet said it would return more cash to investors after predicting pre-tax earnings of £240m to £250m for the year ending September 30, up from previous guidance of £200m to £230m. Profit has gained as demand for business and short-break travel lifts second-half revenue per seat by about 6pc, the Luton, England-based carrier said.
"Financial performance is stronger than I'd forecast, particularly given the challenging market environment," said Gert Zonneveld, an analyst at Panmure Gordon in London who recommends buying EasyJet shares. "EasyJet is well-positioned to outperform its non-low-cost competitors on short-haul routes."
Chief executive officer Carolyn McCall, who was pressured to return cash by EasyJet founder and investor Stelios Haji-Ioannou, said concern about falling share prices was having an impact on shareholder sentiment. "More shareholders are definitely talking about a return of capital in a way they weren't pre-January," she said. (Bloomberg)