Emirates Airline doubles first half profit to 1.7bn dirham

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Emirates Airline, the flag carrier of Dubai, has posted a 104% increase in its first half net profit to 1.7 billion dirham ($463 million).

Across Emirates Group, which also includes ground handling subsidiary Dnata, net profit increased 68% to 2.1 billion dirham.

Revenue and other operating income rose to 38.2 billion dirham - a 16% increase - while the group's cash position fell 13.6% to 15.2 billion dirham as of 30 September 2012.

The group attributes its lower cash balance to a 2 billion dirham Sukuk bond repayment in June 2012.

Passenger load factor at the airline rose by 1 percentage point year-on-year to reach 80% in the first half of 2012/13.

RPK traffic grew 17.8% year-on-year against ASK capacity growth of 17.3%. Total passenger numbers during the period grew 15.4% to 18.7 million.

"Emirates remained focused on its growth and global expansion despite ongoing fluctuating exchange rates and ever-lingering high fuel prices, which accounted for 39% of our expenditures, down 2 percentage points from last year," says chairman and chief executive Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

"The instability in the market over the past six months has put Emirates to the test, and once again we have risen to the challenge. Our results speak for themselves."