The Emirates Group reported a net profit of Dh1.3 billion ($364 million) for the first six months of its 2016-2017 financial year, down 64% compared to the same period last year.
The group held steady on revenue, but profit was hit by the double impact of a strong US dollar and challenging operating environment for the airline and travel business, it said.
The Emirates Group revenue was Dh46.5 billion ($12.7 billion) for the first six months of its 2016-2017 financial year, up 1% from Dh46 billion ($12.5 billion) during the same period last year.
The group’s cash position on 30th September 2016 was at Dh14.9 billion ($4.1 billion), compared to Dh23.5 billion ($6.4 billion) as at 31st March 2016. This is due to ongoing investments mainly into new aircraft, airline related infrastructure projects, business acquisitions, and the repayments of bonds totaling Dh4.1 billion ($1.1 billion), loans and lease liabilities, the group said.
“Our performance for the first half of the 2016-17 financial year continues to be impacted by the strong US dollar against other major currencies. Increased competition, as well as the sustained economic and political uncertainty in many parts of the world has added downward pressure on prices as well as dampened travel demand,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group.
“The bleak global economic outlook appears to be the new norm, with no immediate resolution in sight. Against this backdrop, the Group has remained profitable and our solid business foundations continue to stand us in good stead. In the first six months of this year, both Emirates and dnata continued to grow in capability and capacity,” he added.
“Our past investments in product and services are now paying off, enabling us to retain valued clients and attract new customers - reflected in the airline’s passenger growth of 2.3 million. We continue to make strategic investments, because we know we have to work even harder for every customer, and make every dollar spent go even further through innovation and driving efficiency across our business,” Sheikh Ahmed noted.
In the past six months, the Group continued to develop and expand its employee base, increasing its overall staff count to over 103,000, a 9% increase compared with March 31. This was mainly due to recent acquisitions in dnata businesses, and also required support for Emirates’ growing fleet.