Emirates hits record half-year

Emirates Airline has announced yet another record performance with net
profit for the first six months of the current financial year 2006-07 at
Dhs 1.2 billion (US$ 323 million), up 29 per cent compared to Dhs 922
million (US$ 251 million) recorded in the same period last year.
The results reflect a strong revenue performance driven by robust
passenger and cargo demand, and better yields, which softened the impact
of high fuel prices on operating costs.

Emirates’ operating revenue of Dhs 13.5 billion (US$3.67 billion) for the
half-year represented a strong growth of 30 per cent compared to revenue
of Dhs 10.4 billion (US$2.84 billion) during the same period last year.

Passenger revenue recorded a 31 per cent growth, with passengers carried
increasing by 1.41 million or 20 per cent to 8.39 million, compared to
6.98 million for the first half-year of 2005-06. Seat factor improved to
76.4 per cent for the period, reflecting the robust demand in tandem with
an increased passenger seat capacity (in terms of available seat
kilometres) of 25 per cent, versus the same period last year.

Emirates SkyCargo continued its steady revenue growth, posting an
increase of 29 per cent to Dhs 2.7 billion, with cargo tonnage up by 20
per cent to 577,455 tonnes, compared with 482,643 tonnes for the same
period last year, and maintained its contribution at about 21 per cent of
the airline’s transport revenue.

Emirates’ Chairman & Chief Executive, H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al
Maktoum, said: “Emirates has delivered another excellent half-year
performance, maintaining capacity and revenue growth despite the
challenges faced by high fuel costs.


“Emirates has been in a strong position to tap into the robust demand for
air travel globally by expanding its route network with new
high-capacity aircraft, and investing in passenger services such as
dedicated airport lounges across Europe, the Far East and Australasia. In
the coming months, we intend to continue with our growth plans while
keeping a close watch on costs.”

Fuel costs for the first six months crossed US$1 billion and remained the
top expenditure accounting for 30.7 per cent of total operating costs, up
from 27.2 per cent for the full period last year. Measures taken by
Emirates to remain on target include stringent cost-containment and
efficiency drives, but like other airlines, Emirates has been forced to
maintain fuel surcharges on tickets, which do not fully cover the
escalating costs.

Emirates’ cash position, including held to maturity investments, on 30th
September 2006 was healthy at Dhs 11.2 billion (US$ 3.04 billion), an
increase of 15 per cent compared to Dhs 9.7 billion (US$ 2.65 billion) six
months earlier. This was after paying dividends of Dhs 386 million (US$105
million) to the ownership pertaining to the past financial year, and
funding capital outflows of around Dhs 1.46 billion (US$ 398
million) that included aircraft pre-delivery payments and other capital

Emirates successfully raised a total of US$ 750 million during the period
through its debut Singapore Dollar bond issue in June 2006, and a second
Dirham bond issue in July 2006.  Emirates repaid its first Dirham bond
issue of Dhs 1.5 billion (US$ 408 million) which matured in July 2006.

Since January 2006 Emirates has launched services to 10 new cities -
Abidjan, Addis Ababa, Bangalore, Beijing, Hamburg, Kolkata, Lilongwe
(cargo-only), Nagoya, Thiruvananthapuram and Tunis - bringing the
network total to 87 cities including four cargo-only destinations.  In
addition, it increased the frequency of passenger services and also added
capacity with larger aircraft to many of the existing
destinations, including a second daily service to Zurich and a third daily
into New York via Hamburg.

With the addition to the fleet of nine new aircraft since March 2006,
Emirates’ current fleet size is 100 - which comprises 29 Airbus
A330-200s, 22 Boeing 777-300ERs, 12 Boeing 777-300s, nine Boeing
777-200s, 10 Airbus 340-500s, eight A340-300s, one Airbus A310, and nine
freighters - six Boeing 747Fs and three Airbus A310F.

The total value of Emirates’ current orders of more than 100 wide-bodied
jets pending delivery is approximately US$30 billion. These include the
recently-signed contract for 10 firm Boeing 747-8Fs worth US$2.8 billion
at list prices and purchase rights for 10 additional 747-8Fs.