Court ruling gives Aer Lingus room to boost dividends

DUBLIN, March 15 Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:50am EDT

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DUBLIN, March 15 (Reuters) - A court ruling will allow Aer Lingus to increase reserves that can be distributed to shareholders, the Irish airline said on Friday.

The ruling in Ireland's High Court means the trustees of an employee pension scheme that is in deficit will not be able to limit the distribution of funds to shareholders, Aer Lingus said.

The airline said it could increase its distributable reserves to 542 million euros ($704 million) from the current 42 million, boosting the pot from which it could pay future dividends.

Aer Lingus shares were up 4.3 percent at 1.33 euros at 1234 GMT, compared with a rise of 0.3 percent on the broader Irish index.

($1 = 0.7704 euros) (Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Mark Potter)

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