Easyjet lifts profit forecast and pays special dividend

22.9.2011 (BBC)

Low-cost airline Easyjet has increased its estimate for full-year profits and
announced a special dividend for shareholders.

The carrier said its performance had been “robust”, helped by an increase in
business travellers.

It now expects annual profits of £240m-£250m, up from a previous forecast of
£200m-£230m made in July.

Easyjet shares jumped 7% after it said it would add a special dividend of 35p
to its 9p a share annual dividend.

The latest profit guidance means the airline’s profits could be up to 40% higher
than the £179m analysts were forecasting earlier this year.

“Easyjet’s commercial performance continues to be robust across the network,
with particular strength on city routes used by business and short-break leisure
travellers,” the airline said.

Earlier this year, Easyjet altered its strategy to try to attract more business
passengers, and in July it said that had led to a 20% increase in business travellers
on its flights.

Despite the strong performance, Easyjet warned that its fuel bill for next year
was expected to be £220m higher than in 2011.