The Emirates Group revealed its half-year profits on Thursday. Though the group reported revenue growth over the same period last year, profits were lower than expected due to high oil prices and unfavorable currency movements.
Revenue totaled AED 54.4 billion (USD$14.8 billion) for the first six months of the 2018-19 financial year, up 10% from AED 49.4 billion (USD$13.5 billion) last year. However, profits were down 53% over last year. Emirates Group reported a net profit of AED 1.1billion (USD$296 million).
Emirates Airline, meanwhile, reported a net profit of AED 226 million (USD $62 million), which is down 86% compared to last year. This data comes despite a 10% increase in operating revenue, which was driven by increased agility in capacity deployment and improved seat load factors.
“Emirates and dnata grew steadily in the first half of 2018-19. Demand for our high-quality products and services remained healthy, as we won new and return customers across our businesses and this is reflected in our revenue performance. However, the high fuel cost as well as currency devaluations in markets like India, Brazil, Angola and Iran, wiped approximately AED 4.6 billion from our profits,” said His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group.
“We are proactively managing the myriad challenges faced by the airline and travel industry, including the relentless downward pressure on yields, and uncertain economic and political realities in our region and in other parts of the world. We are keeping a tight rein on controllable costs and will continue to drive efficiency improvement through the implementation of new technology and business processes.
“The next six months will be tough, but the Emirates Group’s foundations remain strong. I’m pleased to note that our home and hub in Dubai continues to attract travel demand, as the airline saw 9% more customers enjoying Dubai as a destination in the first half of 2018-19 compared to the same period last year. We expect this demand to remain healthy as new attractions come online and the city gears up for Dubai Expo 2020. Moving forward we are firmly focussed on sustaining our business. We will do this by being agile to capitalize on opportunities, and investing to serve our customers even better with high-quality products that they value.”
Emirates’ employee base is 1% smaller now than it was at 31 March. The Group currently employs 101,985 people. This reduction is likely due to a combination of natural attrition and a slow recruitment pace.
During the first six months of the 2018-19 financial year, Emirates took eight wide-body aircraft, including three Airbus A380s and five Boeing 777s. Five more planes are set to be delivered before the end of the fiscal year. Seven old aircraft will be retired by 31 March 2019.