Emirates Doubles First Half Airline Profit

November 9, 2017

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The Emirates Group announced a 77 percent first half profit increase as it managed capacity better and benefited from improved foreign exchange rates.

Net profit in the six months to the end of September was AED2.3 billion dirhams (USD$631 million) on revenue up 6 percent at AED49.4 billion.

A combination of increased flying hours and an 11 percent bump in oil prices added to the airline’s expenditure during the year, but a slight reduction in staff numbers of just over 3,000 partially offset that.

The Dubai based group said the profitability rebound was “driven by capacity optimisation and efficiency initiatives across the company, steady business growth, and a more favourable foreign exchange situation.”

Emirates’ airline revenue increased by 6 percent to AED44.5 billion, with profit more than doubling to AED1.7 billion, a 111 percent uplift.

dnata, the group’s ground handling and airline catering unit, made a AED659 million profit for the six months, 20 percent higher than the previous year period.

“Our margins continue to face strong downward pressure from increased competition, oil prices have risen, and we still face weak economic and uncertain political realities in many parts of the world,” Emirates Group chief executive Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said.

“Moving forward, we will continue to keep a careful eye on costs while investing to grow our business and provide our customers with world-class products and services.”

Emirates continued to add capacity and routes, but at a slower rate than in the past. It added four Airbus A380s, and six Boeing 777s to its fleet in the first half, and retired five older 777s.

The airline flew 29.2 million passengers in the six months, up 4 percent on 2016, with cargo tonnage carried up 5 percent at 1.3 million tonnes.

RPK traffic grew by 5 percent on an ASK capacity increase of 3 percent, resulting in a 1.9 percentage point increase in load factor to 77.2 percent.