The Emirates Group has posted a profit of AED4.1 billion (US$1.1 billion) for the financial year ended March 31st, up 67 per cent from last year.
It is the 30th consecutive year of profit for the Dubai-based carrier.
The group’s revenue reached AED102.4 billion (US$27.9 billion), an increase of eight per cent over 2017, while the group’s cash balance increased by 33 per cent to AED25.4 billion (US$6.9 billion) supported by the bond issued in March and strong sales due to the early Easter holidays at the end of March.
In line with the overall profit, the group declared a dividend of AED2 billion (US$545 million) to the Investment Corporation of Dubai.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman, Emirates Airline, said: “Business conditions in 2017-18, while improved, remained tough.
“We saw ongoing political instability, currency volatility and devaluations in Africa, rising oil prices which drove our costs up, and downward pressure on margins from relentless competition.
“On the positive side, we benefitted from a healthy recovery in the global air cargo industry, as well as the relative strengthening of key currencies against the US dollar.
“We’ve always responded to the challenges of each business cycle with agility, while never losing sight of the future, and this year was no exception.
“In 2017-18, Emirates and dnata delivered our 30th consecutive year of profit, recorded growth across the business, and continued to invest in initiatives and infrastructure that will secure our future success.”
In 2017-18, the group collectively invested AED9 billion (US$2.5 billion) in new aircraft and equipment, the acquisition of companies, modern facilities, the latest technologies, and staff initiatives.
Emirates announced two significant commitments for new aircraft during the year: a US$15.1 billion agreement for 40 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners which will be delivered from 2022, and a US$16 billion agreement for 36 additional A380 aircraft, including 16 options.
Sheikh Ahmed said: “While expanding our business and growing revenues, we also tightened our cost discipline.
“Across the Group, we progressed various initiatives to rebuild and streamline our back-office operations with new technology, systems and processes.
“In 2017-18, our reduced recruitment activity, coupled with restructured ways of working gave us gains in productivity, and a slowdown in manpower cost increases.”
Across its more than 80 subsidiaries, the group’s total workforce declined by two per cent to 103,363, representing over 160 different nationalities, as part of the overall productivity improvement initiatives in Emirates and dnata.
Sheikh Ahmed added: “Looking ahead, Emirates and dnata remain focussed on delivering safe, efficient and high-quality services consistently to our customers.
“Our ongoing investments in our people, technology, and infrastructure will help us maintain our competitive edge, and ensure that we are ready to meet the opportunities and stay on course for sustainable and profitable growth.”
Emirates’ total passenger and cargo capacity crossed the 61 billion mark, to 61.4 billion ATKMs at the end of 2017-18, cementing its position as the world’s largest international carrier.
The airline moderately increased capacity during the year over 2016-17 by two per cent, with a focus on yield improvement.
Emirates - which was recognised as the Middle East’s Leading Airline and Middle East’s Leading Airline Brand by the World Travel Awards earlier this year - received 17 new aircraft, after last year’s record number during a financial year, comprising of eight A380s and nine Boeing 777-300ERs.
At the same time, eight older aircraft were phased out, bringing its total fleet count to 268 at the end of March.
This fleet roll-over involving 25 aircraft was again one of the largest managed in a year, keeping Emirates’ average fleet age at a youthful 5.7 years.
The full 2017-18 Annual Report of the Emirates Group – comprising Emirates, dnata and their subsidiaries – is available here.