Emirates Group profits soar 13.5pc to $164m


Dubai-based airline operator Emirates Group has reported a profit of Dh603 million ($164 million) for its financial year ended March 31, up 13.5 per cent on the year-earlier period.

The results of the group - which comprises Emirates Airline and Dnata - were announced by Chairman Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

The group's operating profit fell 0.9 per cent to Dh739 million for the year ended March 31.

Emirates Airline, which announced deals worth $15 billion for new aircraft in November, posted profits of Dh468.2 million, up from Dh421.8 million, while Dnata profits were up at Dh134.8 million from Dh109.5 million during the period under review.

"In a normal year, our profitable results would have been a superb achievement; in 2001-2002, it is exceptional and probably unique," Shaikh Ahmed said.

Total group revenue increased by 12.9 per cent to Dh7.8 billion in the year ended March 31, compared with Dh6.9 billion in the previous year.

"We only briefly and marginally reduced our schedules, redoubled our efforts in our markets, severely restrained costs and kept to our plans," Shaikh Ahmad said.

Overall, airline passenger numbers grew 18.3 per cent to 6.8 million, with seat factor was down slightly from 75.1 per cent to 74.3 per cent. Available seat kilometres increased by 19.7 per cent, with costs up by 13.6 per cent, reflecting improved productivity.

Emirates SkyCargo reported an 8.7 per cent improvement in revenue, with cargo tonnage up by 19.5 per cent to 400,569 tonnes.

Emirates' network grew to 57 destinations in 40 countries with the start of operations to Hyderabad and Casablanca, in addition to extra services to Hong Kong, Tehran and Johannesburg.

During the year, Emirates' Destination and Leisure Management division - which includes Emirates Holidays, Arabian Adventures, and the Al Maha Desert Resort - drew 170,000 customers.

As the sole ground-handling agent at the Dubai airport, Dnata Airport Services was responsible for handling nearly 60,000 aircraft and taking care of more than 13.8 million passengers, a 7.9 per cent increase over last year.

Dnata Cargo, which handles freight operations at the airport, registered a record 10.9 per cent increase in tonnage to 635,298 tonnes.

The airline also recently opened its new First and Business Class check-in terminal at Dubai airport.

The new facility is designed to speed departing travellers smoothly onto flights with minimum formality and fuss. Purpose-built between Departures and Arrivals, it is the only separate airport terminal in the world catering to premium flyers, the airline said.