September 18, 2014 / 6:21 AM / 3 years ago

easyJet raises dividend ratio, buys more planes

LONDON, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Budget airline easyJet said it would lift its payout ratio to 40 percent next year and had reached agreement with Airbus to add 27 planes to its fleet, in a sign of its continuing confidence.

The company, Europe's second largest low-cost airline behind Irish rival Ryanair, said on Thursday that for its financial year starting Sept. 30 its dividend would represent 40 percent of profit after tax, compared to the one third ratio it currently pays out to investors.

easyJet also said that it had reached agreement with Airbus to exercise existing purchase rights over 27 current generation A320 aircraft for delivery between 2015 and 2018.

"We are bringing new aircraft into the fleet as we continue to see a significant number of new profitable opportunities in our core markets in the near term and in order to maintain our cost advantage," chief executive Carolyn McCall said. (Reporting by Sarah Young, Editing by Paul Sandle)

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