Emirates Group has posted a group net profit of Dhs2.3 billion ($626 million) for the full-year 2011-2012 ended 31 March, down 61% from a year earlier on rising fuels costs.

Group revenues grew to Dhs 67.4 billion, a 17.8% increase over the previous year, says Emirates in a statement. The group's cash balance grew 9.5% to Dhs 17.6 billion.

"Despite this strong revenue growth, the stifling cost of jet fuel impacted Emirates' bottom line with the [airline unit's] profit sitting significantly lower than the previous year at Dhs 1.5 billion representing a decrease of 72.1% over last year's record results."

The carrier's fuel bill increased 44.4%, hitting Dhs24.3 billion. This contributed to a 24% increase in operating costs, forcing the carrier to introduce a fuel surcharge during the year.

The carrier received 22 new aircraft during 2011-2012, the highest ever in a single year. It also added 11 new destinations and increased capacity to 34 cities.

"Throughout 2011-2012 financial year the group has collectively invested close to Dhs 14 billion in new products," says the carrier. "This investment garnered new customers and increased our international presence. Successful business growth is not a matter of luck, it is the result of sustained and calculated investment."

Emirates' freight division, SkyCargo, saw revenues rise 8.4% on-year to Dhs9.5 billion.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news