Easyjet ups Profit Forecast

Low-cost carrier Easyjet has raised its estimate for full-year profits while announcing a special dividend for shareholders.
The airline said its results were: “robust”; boosted by an increase in business traffic.
Easyjet says that it now expects annual profits of £240m-£250m (US$371 – 386m), up from an earlier forecast of £200m-£230m (US$309 – 355m) made in July.
The company’s shares leaped 7% after it announced that it would pay a special dividend of 35p to its 9p a share annual dividend.
The new forecast means its profits could be up to 40% higher than the £179m (US$276m) predicted earlier this year.
A company statement said “Easyjet’s commercial performance continues to be robust across the network, with particular strength on city routes used by business and short-break leisure travellers.”
Earlier this year the airline announced that it was to focus on attracting more business passengers and in July claimed a 20% increase in business travellers.
Looking to the future, Easyjet warns that its fuel bill for next year is expected to be £220m (US$340m) higher than in 2011.