No-frills giant Easyjet has made record profits of £317 million for its last financial year despite a £182 million rise in its fuel costs.
Easyjet increased pre-tax profit by 27.9 per cent during the year to the end of September as total revenue also rose by 11.6 per cent to £3.85 billion. Although its fuel bill went up by 25 per cent year-on-year from £917 million to £1.15 billion.
The airline said it had benefited from competitors reducing capacity on some routes while a "benign environment" in terms of weather disruption and strikes had also helped boost its results - only 1,000 flights were cancelled in the 2011/2 financial year compared to more than 4,000 in the previous year.
Easyjet also said its services from London airports had "bounced back" after the Olympics and the late summer market to "beach routes" had been strong.
Chief executive Carolyn McCall said: “These results demonstrate that Easyjet is a structural winner in the European short-haul market against both legacy and low-cost competition.
“The strength of Easyjet's business model and strategy coupled with the hard work and dedication of the Easyjet team has delivered record profits as well as a significant increase in returns for shareholders during the year.
“Whilst there is always the potential for unexpected events to temporarily impact financial results the board of Easyjet is confident that its business model, strategy and people will consistently continue to generate superior returns and growth for shareholders.”
Easyjet said that it was also doubling its dividend to shareholders to £85 million or 21.5p per share.