Emirates Group has seen profits fall by nearly half as the rising price of oil and strong US dollar took a toll on annual results.
The Dubai-based group posted a profit of AED2.3 billion (US$631 million) for the financial year ended March 31st, down 44 per cent from last year.
It was, however, the 31st consecutive year of profit at the organisation.
Revenue at the group reached AED109.3 billion (US$29.8 billion), an increase of seven per cent over last year’s results.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive, Emirates Airline and Group, said: “2018-19 has been tough, and our performance was not as strong as we would have liked.
“Higher oil prices and the strengthened US dollar eroded our earnings, even as competition intensified in our key markets.
“The uptick in global airfreight demand from the previous year appears to have gone into reverse gear, and we also saw travel demand weaken, particularly in our region, impacting both dnata and Emirates.”
In 2018-19, the group collectively invested AED14.6 billion (US$3.9 billion) in new aircraft and equipment, a significant increase over last year’s investment spend of AED9 billion (US$ 2.5 billion).
Al Maktoum added: “Every business cycle is different, and we continue to work smart and hard to tackle the challenges and take advantage of opportunities.
“Our goal has always been to build a profitable, sustainable, and responsible business based in Dubai, and these principles continue to guide our decisions and investments.
“In 2018-19, Emirates and dnata delivered our 31st consecutive year of profit, recorded growth across the business, and invested in initiatives and infrastructure that will secure our future success.”
In February, Emirates announced a commitment for 40 A330-900s and 30 A350-900s worth US$ 21.4 billion at list prices in an agreement signed with Airbus, to be delivered from 2021 and 2024 respectively.
The airline will also receive 14 more A380 deliveries from 2019 until the end of 2021, taking its total A380 order book to 123 units.
Across its more than 120 subsidiaries, the group’s total workforce increased by two per cent to 105,286, representing over 160 different nationalities, mainly influenced by dnata’s new acquisitions and its international business expansion.
Al Maktoum concluded: “It’s hard to predict the year ahead, but both Emirates and dnata are well positioned to navigate speed bumps, as well as to compete and succeed in the global marketplace.
“We must continually up our game, that’s why we invest in our people, technology, and infrastructure to help us maintain our competitive edge.
“As a responsible business, we also invest resources towards supporting communities, conservation and environmental initiatives, as well as incubating talent and innovation that will propel our industry in the future.”
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