easyJet posted a 50.9% increase in pre-tax profits for the year up to 30 September, its third consecutive year of growing profit.
The airline registered GBP478 million in pre-tax profits in line with its target of between GBP470-480 million for the year.
Revenues were up 10.5% to GBP4.25bn, with passenger numbers up 4% to 60.8 million and an average load factor of 89.3%.
Its success has come from a push into the business travel market, with a strategy that includes GDS coverage and allocated seating.
Its route launches such as the new Moscow route have also been part of the airline’s recent growth, which is expected to continue into 2014.
Its focus will continue on building its short-haul network from Gatwick, Milan Malpensa and Basel as well as its new Hamburg and Naples bases.
“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,” said easyJet’s CEO Carolyn McCall.
“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. As evidence of our continued confidence in the future prospects of the business the Board has recommended to return £308 million to shareholders through the combination of an ordinary and special dividend,” she added.
The airline also announced it will launch flights from Gatwick to Brussels, Strasbourg, Jersey, Paris CDG and Newcastle in March 2014 using newly-acquired slots.
Its Gatwick to Amsterdam and Geneva services will go up to seven flights a day from next spring, while services to Inverness, Isle of Man and Bordeaux will go up to twice daily.