British engineering group AMEC said it would launch a 400 million pound ($635 million) share buyback programme and raised its dividend by 15 per cent, as it posted a jump in 2011 profit alongside a positive outlook for the current year. AMEC, whose customers operate in the mining, oil and gas, nuclear power and renewable energy sectors, on Tuesday reported full-year earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) of 299 million pounds, 12 per cent higher than in 2010, and slightly higher than forecast. The average forecast for AMEC’s EBITA stood at 297 million pounds according to a company supplied poll of 16 analysts. “We are announcing a 15 per cent increase in the dividend for the full year and, given the strength of the group’s balance sheet, are commencing a 400 million pound share buyback programme, which is expected to be completed over the next 12 months,” Chief Executive Samir Brikho said in a statement. Investors in AMEC have been waiting for news on a cash return after the company said last March it would consider a buyback or one-off return should a major acquisition not materialise, something which to date has not happened.