The Emirates Group has announced its half-year results for 2018-19. The Group saw steady revenue growth compared to the same period last year, however profits were impacted by the significant rise in oil prices, and unfavourable currency movements in certain markets, amidst other challenges for the airline and travel industry.
The Emirates Group revenue was AED 54.4 billion (US$ 14.8 billion) for the first six months of its 2018-19 financial year, up 10% from AED 49.4 billion (US$ 13.5 billion) during the same period last year. Profitability was down 53% compared to the same period last year, with the Group reporting a 2018-19 half-year net profit of AED 1.1 billion (US$ 296 million). The profit erosion was primarily due to the significant increase in fuel prices of 37% compared to the same period last year, as well as the negative impact of currencies in certain markets.
The Group’s cash position on 30th September 2018 was at AED 21.5 billion (US$ 5.9 billion), compared to AED 25.4 billion (US$ 6.9 billion) as at 31st March 2018. His Highness (HH) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group said: “Emirates and dnata grew steadily in the first half of 2018-19. Demand for our high quality products and services remained healthy, as we won new and return customers across our businesses and this is reflected in our revenue performance. However, the high fuel cost as well as currency devaluations in markets like India, Brazil, Angola and Iran, wiped approximately AED 4.6 billion from our profits.
“We are proactively managing the myriad challenges faced by the airline and travel industry, including the relentless downward pressure on yields, and uncertain economic and political realities in our region and in other parts of the world. We are keeping a tight rein on controllable costs and will continue to drive efficiency improvement through the implementation of new technology and business processes.
“The next six months will be tough, but the Emirates Group’s foundations remain strong. I’m pleased to note that our home and hub in Dubai continues to attract travel demand, as the airline saw 9% more customers enjoying Dubai as a destination in the first half of 2018-19 compared to the same period last year. We expect this demand to remain healthy as new attractions come online and the city gears up for Dubai Expo 2020. Moving forward we are firmly focussed on sustaining our business. We will do this by being agile to capitalise on opportunities, and investing to serve our customers even better with high quality products that they value.”
In the past six months, the Group’s employee base reduced by 1% compared to 31 March 2018, from an overall average staff count of 103,363 to 101,983. This was largely a result of natural attrition, together with a slower pace of recruitment as the business continues its various internal programmes to improve efficiency through the implementation of new technology and workflows.