British budget airline easyJet said Tuesday that annual net profits surged by 13 percent, boosted by demand for low-cost air travel, and more than doubled its shareholder dividend. Earnings after taxation advanced to £255 million ($405 million, 317 million euros) for the group\'s 2011/2012 financial year to the end of September, compared with £225 million in the previous year, easyJet said in a results statement. Pre-tax profits meanwhile jumped 27.9 percent to £317 million, in line with the company\'s guidance. The London-listed carrier also hiked its shareholder dividend to 21.5 pence per share, from 10.5 pence. \"These results demonstrate that easyJet is a structural winner in the European short-haul market against both legacy and low cost competition,\" chief executive Carolyn McCall said in the earnings release. \"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.\"