EasyJet is poised to announce its first dividend payment alongside its annual financial results tomorrow, according to reports.
The budget airline is expected to deliver a pre-tax profit of around £154.5 million tomorrow – three-times higher than last year when it was hit by higher fuel and staffing costs.
City analysts have predicted strong profit growth in the results, despite the carrier losing millions when flights were grounded in April due to the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud UK airspace closure.
The carrier has not paid a dividend since listing on the stock exchange ten years ago and new chief executive Carolyn McCall has come under pressure from founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou to appease shareholders.
Stelios, who quit the board in May in a row over strategy, said recently that the company should slow down expansion and pay a small, regular dividend.
He previously threatened to withdraw permission for EasyJet to use the orange “easy” branding, but has since signed a licensing deal that gives him 0.25% of the airline’s profits.
EasyJet is also expected to start re-stating its punctuality statistics as the airline is said to be achieving a 70% pinctuality record – fligths that leave within 15 minutes of the published departure time.
During the summer French air traffic control strikes were blamed for the carrier’s poor punctuality record at Gatwick.