Emirates Group profit surges by one-third

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Emirates Group has posted a net profit of Dhs3.1 billion ($845 million), up by one-third, on the back of full-year revenues of Dhs77.5 billion.

Revenues increased by 17% over the previous year's results, the Dubai-based group states, nudging ahead of a 16% rise in operating costs - including a 15% higher fuel bill which amounted to nearly Dhs28 billion.

Over the year the company introduced 34 new aircraft, hiking capacity by 18%, but Emirates Airline maintained a 80% load factor and passenger yield remained "steady", it says.

The fleet increase comprised 20 Boeing 777-300ERs, four 777Fs, and 10 Airbus A380s, and the carrier still has almost 200 aircraft on order.

Emirates Airline turned in a profit of Dhs2.3 billion, despite the increase in fuel prices, as the carrier transported 16% more passengers - a total of more than 39 million.

"Managing volatile exchange rates, coupled with a persistently high fuel bill accounting for 40% of our total expenditures, has required continued strong resolve," says Emirates Group chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

"Every dirham that we earn is strategically placed back into our business and it is this tenacious approach that has allowed the group to maintain such strong and consistent profitability under challenging circumstances."

Premium load factor remained "strong", says Emirates, while premium demand on its A380 fleet "outperformed the network".

Emirates' freight division, SkyCargo, accounted for 15% of the company's transport revenues despite a "shrinking" market, the company says. SkyCargo has 10 freighters, eight on operating lease and two wet-leased.