Ryanair could hand another €500m to shareholders

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Irish budget carrier Ryanair believes it could return another €500 million ($610 million) to shareholders by the end of March 2013.

The airline has today disclosed plans to provide €500 million in a one-off dividend to shareholders, following a profitable full year.

But it says that it may make a further sum available - either in the form of a dividend or share buy-back - within the next three years, if it does not require the capital for aircraft orders or other expenditure.

"Since we don't anticipate a new deal with Boeing for the foreseeable future, our gross capex will fall substantially over the next three years," says the carrier, adding that it expects to generate up to €1 billion in surplus cash by the end of March 2013.