17 | earnings per share attributable to equity holders
Average earnings per share in 2015 amounted to € 0.24 (2014: € 0.32). Average diluted earnings per share in 2015 were also € 0.24 (2014: € 0.32).
The calculation of average earnings per share at 31 December is based on net income attributable to equity holders, equalling € 19,845 (2014: € 25,855) and the weighted average number of outstanding shares, equalling 81,060 (2014: 80,756). The weighted average number of shares is calculated as disclosed below:
in thousands of shares
Issued as at 1 January
Change from settlement of share plan
Weighted average number of shares during the year
At the end of 2015 there was no dilution of shares (2014: 163,090 shares) due to the adjustment of the variable long-term share remuneration, after which settlement will be effected in cash instead of in shares (note 24).
The merger protocol agreed with Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd. on 22 December 2015 stipulates that no dividend (or interim dividend) will be declared or distributed, nor any payment in kind. Therefore the Executive Board will not propose to distribute a dividend for 2015.