Emirates posts record half-year profits

Emirates … flying high

EMIRATES has reportednet profits of Dh865 million ($236 million) for the first six months of the financial year 2004-05, from April 1 to September 30.

The results, based on unaudited financial figures, are Emirates’ best ever for any six-month period and compare with net profits of Dh612 million during the same period of last year – a 41 per cent increase. Strong passenger and cargo demand coupled with better yields helped to offset higher costs due to escalating jet fuel prices. 
Emirates’ chairman, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, said: “These excellent results owe a great deal to a superb performance in the first quarter, while in the second quarter we started being severely impacted by the dramatic increase in jet fuel prices. This is still affecting our performance and has forced us to adopt some stringent cost-containment measures, like a hiring freeze on non-operational staff. We are looking constantly for other cost savings everywhere.”
Sheikh Ahmed concluded: “Emirates’ strong profitability is a very high priority, to enable us to afford the big investments required to protect our competitiveness and indeed our future, regardless of the high fuel prices expected to continue in the medium term.”
Emirates’ operating revenue of Dh8.2 billion for the half-year represented a strong growth of 42 per cent vs. revenue of Dh5.8 billion during the same period last year. Seat factor improved by 3.5 percentage points to 73.3 per cent during the period, and passengers carried rose 25.5 per cent to 6.1 million, compared to 4.8 million for the first half-year of 2003-04. Seat capacity also went up by 30 per cent vs. the same period last year. Emirates SkyCargo’s revenue posted a growth of 42 per cent, with cargo tonnage rising by 27 per cent to 401,500 tonnes, compared with 315,553 tonnes for the same period last year. Liquidity on 30th September 2004 remained robust at Dhs6.24 billion (US$1.70 billion) compared to Dhs6.44 billion (US$1.76 billion) six months earlier. This was after paying dividends of Dhs300 million (US$82 million) to the ownership during this period - pertaining to the past financial year - and funding capital outflows of circa Dhs500 million (US$136 million) that included aircraft pre-delivery payments and other capital items.