EasyJet full-year profit jumps 21.5%, lifts dividend

Sean Gallup, Getty Images News

British low-cost airline easyJet reported a 21.5 percent jump in annual profit, in line with its expectations, prompting it to raise its dividend, as it guided that forward bookings were slightly ahead for the winter season.

Europe's second-largest low-cost carrier behind Ryanair, easyJet on Tuesday posted a pretax profit of 581 million pounds ($909 million) for the year ended September, in line with upgraded company guidance in the range of 575 million pounds to 580 million pounds.

The company said it would lift its ordinary dividend per share by 35.5 percent to 45.4 pence, in line with a proposal made earlier this year to reward shareholders with 40 percent of pretax profit, above the previous one-third distribution.

The company did not propose paying a special dividend. It returned additional cash to shareholders via special dividends last year and in 2011, and some analysts had said that another additional payout could be on the cards for this year.