By Daniel Hunter

EasyJet has reported a 21% increase in annual pre-tax profits after rise in passenger numbers.

The budget airline said profits for the year to the end of September were £581m, up from £487m.

EasyJet raised its capacity this year, buying extra slots at Gatwick airport from its rival Flybe. That led to 64.8 million passengers using the airline in the year, 7% more than last year.

It also suggested that falling fuel prices are likely to save it £22m in the next six months.

The airline also announced plans to increase its dividend to 40%, up from a third.

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