EasyJet pays £150m dividend, cash reaches £1.1bn

London
Source: Flightglobal.com
This story is sourced from Flightglobal.com

EasyJet ended its 2011 fiscal year with £1.4 billion ($2.2 billion) of cash and money market deposits after generating a 52% net increase cash and cash equivalents. At 30 September 2011, EasyJet had £1.1 billion cash and cash equivalents, compared with £912 million.

EasyJet says it has sufficient liquidity to manage through the cycle and industry shocks.

During the year, the low-cost carrier generated £188 million net increase in its cash position compared with £123 million in 2010. The carrier EasyJet generated £424 million net cash from operating activities. Its £478 million net capital expenditure principally comprised the acquisition of 13 Airbus A319s and 12 A320s as well as payments in connection with the 15 A320 new order announced in January 2011. Net cash generated from financing activities reached £246 million during the year.

The carrier says its board's policy is to hold a cash reserve of £4 million per aircraft, so £584 million is available to finance committed aircraft orders and pay the proposed ordinary and special dividends. The board also set up a cap of £10 million adjusted net debt per aircraft.

At 30 September 2011, aircraft with a net book value of £1.2 billion were mortgaged to lenders as loan security. Aircraft with a £159 million net book value were held under finance leases.

The EasyJet board recommended a one-off return to shareholders, structured as a special dividend, of £150 million. Taken together with the ordinary dividend of 10.5 pence per share, this provides an estimated total cash return to shareholders for the year of £195 million to be paid on 23 March 2012.