easyJet plc Soars On Record Profits

The share price of easyJet (LSE: EZJ) — the UK’s largest airline measured by passenger numbers — is up over 6% so far today, following the release of the company’s final results for the year to 30 September 2013.

The company has reported a 51% rise in pre-tax profit for the full year, up to a record £478m, on total revenue that increased 10.5%, to £4,258m, with a profit margin of 11.2%, up 3 percentage points from last year’s 8.2%.

Basic earnings per share grew by 62%, to 101.3p, and the board has recommended increasing the ordinary dividend by 55.8%, to 33.5p per share. In addition, having ended the year with net cash of £558 million, it has recommended that £175 million be returned to shareholders by means of a special dividend of 44.1p a share. easyJet’s yield, based just on its ordinary dividend, stands at around 2.5%.

 Commenting on the results, Chief Executive Carolyn McCall said:

easyJet has delivered a strong full year performance and made significant progress against executing its strategic priorities. The results reflect easyJet’s continued structural advantage in the European short-haul market against both the legacy and low cost competition.

“Our disciplined approach to capacity allocation has resulted in a meaningful growth in earnings, profit margin and return on capital employed and we have ended the year with a strong balance sheet and a low level of gearing.

“We will continue to deliver our strategy of offering our customers low fares to great destinations with friendly service so that we can continue to win in a more competitive market. This means we are well placed to continue to deliver sustainable returns and growth for our shareholders.

Currently at 1,335p, easyJet’s share price is up 74% so far in 2013, and 104% on this time last year.

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> Jon doesn't own shares in easyJet.