THE Emirates Group has announced its 24th consecutive year of profit and company-wide growth amidst unprecedented economic pressure and record high fuel prices. The group’s 2011-12 annual report showed a Dh2.3 billion ($629 million) net profit, with dnata marking its highest ever profit in 52 years of operation.
Despite fundamental challenges, group revenue reached a record high, climbing to Dh67.4 billion ($18.4 billion), an increase of 17.8 per cent on last year’s results. Cash balance grew by 9.5 per cent reaching a strong Dh17.6 billion ($4.8 billion).
“Achieving our 24th consecutive year of profit and maintaining an upward growth trajectory is an achievement that belies the industry norm,’ said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive, Emirates Airline and Group. “Throughout the 2011-12 financial year the group has collectively invested close to Dh14 billion ($3.8 billion) in new products.'
During the year Emirates received a 22 new aircraft including 14 Boeing 777-300ERs, two Boeing 777Fs and six A380s from Airbus, its highest in any single year. With an increased fleet, Emirates further invested in its network by adding 11 new destinations and increasing capacity to 34 cities, including a strong focus on North America and South America in the final quarter with Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Seattle and Dallas-Fort Worth all launching between January and March 2012.
Achieving a record profit of Dh808 million ($220 million), dnata stayed true to its proven acquisition strategy, gaining a majority stake in online travel agency, Travel Republic, and a 50 per cent interest in Wings Inflight Services in South Africa. Importantly the results for 2011-12 highlight that 55 per cent of dnata’s revenue is derived from its international operations, an increase of 17 percentage points over last year. Complementing its growth, dnata underwent a comprehensive brand refresh throughout the year, incorporating the different businesses of dnata under the unifying ‘One dnata’ umbrella.
In 2011-12 financial year Emirates’ fuel bill increased by 44.4 per cent over last year to reach Dh24.3 billion ($6.6 billion). With operating costs increasing by 24 per cent compared to a revenue increase of 16.2 per cent over the previous financial year, Emirates bore the brunt of the crippling cost of fuel for nearly one year, before reluctantly introducing a fuel surcharge on all tickets. In addition to the cost of fuel Emirates had an operationally challenging year with the political unrest across the Middle East and North Africa affecting flight schedules. “In the last five years, Emirates’ capacity measured in available seat kilometres (ASK), has increased by almost 100 per cent facilitating new trade links and creating a new flow of passenger traffic.
Being the first to capitalise on these new opportunities has allowed us to gain a distinct competitive advantage, one that we intend to maintain,” said Sheikh Ahmed.
Emirates’ revenue reached a record Dh62.3 billion ($17 billion) growing by 14.9 per cent when compared to the 2010-11 financial year. Despite this strong revenue growth, the stifling cost of jet fuel impacted Emirates’ bottom line with the airline’s profit sitting significantly lower than the previous year at Dh1.5 billion ($409 million) representing a decrease of 72.1 per cent over last year’s record results.
To further improve on-board communication for passengers, Emirates has enabled its fleet of Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft and over 50 Boeing 777s with the AeroMobile phone service, permitting passengers to make phone calls during their flight. The airline also opened four new dedicated airport lounges during the year including San Francisco, Istanbul, Colombo and a fourth new lounge in Dubai, bringing the total number of Emirates lounges to 32.