EasyJet increases profit guidence, unveils one-off dividend

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EasyJet has increased its full-year profit guidance and will pay a one-off dividend to shareholders of £150 million ($232 million).

Following a "robust" commercial performance, the carrier said it now expects its full-year pre-tax profit for the year ended 30 September 2011 to be between £240 million and £250 million.

It had previously expected to post a pre-tax profit of between £200 million and £230 million.

In addition to an ordinary dividend to shareholders amounting to £40 million, EasyJet today said its board expects to recommend a one-off return of capital that will likely be structured as a special dividend of £150 million.

This decision comes "in light of the strong performance of the business over the past 12 months, management's current medium-term expectations for EasyJet's financial potential and a prudent approach to maintaining balance sheet strength", said the carrier.

EasyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou, who has recently launched a series of hostile onslaughts against the airline, has long been calling for a dividend to be paid out.