SOURCE: Westar Energy, Inc.

Westar Energy, Inc.

February 23, 2011 17:26 ET

Westar Energy Increases Dividend

New Quarterly Dividend of 32 Cents per Share Reflects a 3% Increase

TOPEKA, KS--(Marketwire - February 23, 2011) - The Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE: WR) Board of Directors today declared a quarterly dividend of 32 cents per share payable April 1, 2011 on the company's common stock. The new dividend is 3 percent higher than the company's previous quarterly dividend of 31 cents per share, and results in an indicated annual rate of $1.28 per share.

"We appreciate that investors look to dividends as a significant part of the return they can expect from investing in Westar. The dividend increase approved today continues a long history of returning increasing value to shareholders," said Bill Moore, president and chief executive officer. "The board remains committed to providing a competitive return to our shareholders, through both dividends and a growing business."

The board also declared regular quarterly dividends on the company's 4.25 percent, 4.5 percent and 5 percent series preferred stocks payable April 1, 2011.

The dividends are payable to shareholders of record as of March 9, 2011.

Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE: WR) is the largest electric utility in Kansas, providing electric service to about 687,000 customers in the state. Westar Energy has about 6.800 megawatts of electric generation capacity and operates and coordinates more than 34,000 miles of electric distribution and transmission lines.

For more information about Westar Energy, visit us on the Internet at http://www.WestarEnergy.com.