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Sat 23 May 2015 01:13 AM

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Shareholders approve $66m Jazeera Airways dividend

Head of Kuwaiti airline also tells AGM that it plans to be debt-free by the end of 2015

Shareholders approve $66m Jazeera Airways dividend
Jazeera Airways chairman Marwan Boodai.

Shareholders of Kuwait's Jazeera Airways Group have approved a board proposal for the cash distribution of KD20 million ($66.2 million) as special dividend for 2014.

The company's annual general meeting in Freedom Town, Kuwait also heard that shareholder payments in 2015 may reach KD30 million ($99.3 million) and that it plans to be debt-free by the end of 2015.

Jazeera Airways Group chairman, Marwan Boodai, said: "In 2014 the board of directors made the strategic decision to further capitalise on the growth opportunities in our home market by focusing more on our core business, the passenger airline business, and to exit the capital-intensive aircraft leasing business with the sale our fleet of aircraft in January of 2015.

"The transaction is reflected in our 2014 financial accounts and resulted in an additional cash surplus of KD24 million for the year 2014 and lifted Jazeera Airways Group's cash balance to KD82 million, almost double our authorised and paid up capital of KD42 million.

"As a result, the company today is cash-rich, asset-light, and plans to be debt-free by end of 2015 to pursue growth opportunities Jazeera Airways."

He said Jazeera Airways' board of directors has recommended the distribution of an additional KD30 million in cash in 2015, subject to shareholder approval, in the form of shareholder payouts as part of a share buyback scheme targeted to readjust the company's capital inline with the size of its current operations.

The company's share buyback programme, planned to take place in the second half of 2015, will be the first voluntary share buyback program exercise in Kuwait based on the new share buyback procedures stated by Kuwait's new Commercial Companies Law, Boodai added.

All payments will be executed separately in the next few months with the last payment expected to take place in August 2015, pending regulator and shareholders approvals.

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