Special dividend hint as easyJet profits soar

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The Independent Online

EasyJet yesterday hiked its annual profit forecast after Britons flocked to book flights to its sunniest destinations – and City analysts hinted a £200m special dividend could be on the way as a result.

The budget airline said that every day it rained in the UK, bookings soared, and April to June was the wettest second quarter on record.

Its revenues rocketed accordingly, up 10.5 per cent to £1.03bn for the three months to July.

After cheaper fuel helped cut costs, easyJet said pre-tax profits will be between £280m and £300m in the year to October, up from previous guidance of £272m and last year's £248m. The shares rose 11.5p to 542.5p.

The airline's house broker, Credit Suisse, then said there was "scope for another special dividend of around £200m" next year, which Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, easyJet's founder and biggest shareholder claimed was evidence that the airline was worried about chairman Sir Mike Rake retaining his post.

Sir Stelios has called an extraordinary general meeting to remove Sir Mike, Barclays' deputy chairman.