Nov.20 - British low-cost airline easyJet will raise dividends after outperforming the sector with a 28 percent rise in full-year profit helped by a surge in late summer demand. Sonia Legg reports
28% is today's daily digit in Europe - the rise in full-year profit at easyJet. Europe's second largest budget airline has doubled its dividend as a result. A surge in late summer demand helped the UK carrier make a pretax profit of more than half a billion dollars in just nine months. EasyJet is bucking the trend Many European airlines are struggling with higher fuel costs, weak consumer confidence and the euro zone crisis On Monday Scandinavian airline SAS came close to banktruptcy. Workers had to agree severe cuts to secure emergency funding. And since the start of the year Spain's Iberia and Germany's Lufthansa have both slashed jobs while Spanair and Hungary's flag-carrier Malev have gone out of business. In contrast since Carolyn McCall took over as Chief Executive easyJet's profits have doubled. That's not just due to holiday bookings, flights between top business destinations have also increased. EasyJet shares soared 5% after the release of the 28% profit increase.