Last year, the UAE’s non-oil trade with its top 10 partners grew significantly
Dubai's Emirates Group on Thursday announced its best-ever half-year financial result — recording a net profit of Dh10.1 billion in six months and surpassing last year's Dh4.2-billion figure by 138 per cent.
The group also reported an EBITDA of Dh20.6 billion, a significant improvement from Dh15.3 billion during the same period last year, illustrating its strong operating profitability.
Group revenue was Dh67.3 billion for the first six months of 2023-24, up 20 per cent from Dh56.3 billion last year. This was driven by strong demand for air transport across the world, which has been on an upward trajectory since the last pandemic travel restrictions were lifted.
The group closed the first half year of 2023-24 with a solid cash position of Dh42.7 billion on September 30, 2023, compared to Dh42.5 billion on March 31, 2023.
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The group has been able to tap on its own strong cash reserves to support business needs, including debt payments. So far, Emirates has repaid Dh9.2 billion of its Covid-19 related loans. The Group also paid Dh4.5 billion in dividend to its owner, as declared at the end of its 2022-23 financial year.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates airline and Group, said: "We are seeing the fruition of our plans to return stronger and better from the dark days of the pandemic. The Group has surpassed previous records to report our best-ever half-year performance. Our profit for the first six months of 2023-24 has nearly matched our record full year profit in 2022-23. This is a tremendous achievement that speaks to the talent and commitment within the organisation, the strength of our business model, and power of Dubai’s vision and policies that has enabled the creation of a strong, resilient, and progressive aviation sector.
"Across the Group, we’ve continued to ramp up operations safely and move nimbly to meet customer demand. We’ve implemented a series of service and product enhancements to win customer preference, and we’ll continue to invest in our people, products, partnerships, and technology to strengthen our capabilities and ensure we are future-ready."
To support increased operations and business activities, the Emirates Group’s employee base, compared to 31 March 2023, grew 6 per cent to an overall count of 108,996 on 30 September 2023. Both Emirates and dnata have ongoing recruitment drives to support their future requirements.
Emirates continued to increase its global flight operations, adding capacity and connections through its Dubai hub to meet customer demand across markets. During the first half of 2023-24, the airline restored A380 operations to Bali, Beijing, Birmingham, Casablanca, Nice, Shanghai, and Taiwan.
In July, it launched daily non-stop services to Montreal, a new destination and the airline’s second gateway in Canada.
Expanding connectivity options for customers, Emirates entered and enhanced codeshare or interline agreements with eight airlines in the first six months of 2023-24: Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Etihad Airways, Kenya Airways, Philippine Airlines, Maldivian, Sri Lankan Airlines, and United Airlines. The codeshare partnership between Emirates and Qantas, which has seen over 15 million travellers benefit from joint flight itineraries since its establishment in 2013, received approvals for a further 5-year extension until 2027.
By September 30, the airline was operating passenger and cargo services to 144 airports, utilising its entire Boeing 777 fleet and 104 A380s. During the first six months of 2023-24, 10 A380 aircraft rolled out of Emirates’ retrofit programme with completely refreshed cabin interiors and latest onboard products, including premium economy seats. This enabled the airline to deploy its highly sought-after premium economy services on more new routes including New York JFK, Houston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Singapore.
In the first half of 2023-24, Emirates launched a new global brand advertising campaign featuring Hollywood actor Penelope Cruz; and introduced initiatives to enhance customer travel experience including: a new city check-in facility at Dubai International Financial Centre, free onboard wi-fi for Emirates Skywards members, and a new meal pre-ordering capability for customers to select their meal options in advance of travel.
Overall capacity during the first six months of the year increased by 25 per cent to 28.5 billion available tonne kilometres (ATKM) due to an expanded flight programme. Capacity measured in available seat kilometres (ASKM), increased by 30 per cent, whilst passenger traffic carried measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPKM) was up by 35 per cent with an average Passenger Seat Factor of 81.5 per cent, compared with 78.5 per cent during the same period last year.
Emirates carried 26.1 million passengers between 1 April and 30 September 2023, up 31 per cent from the same period last year. Emirates Skycargo uplifted 1,035,000 tonnes in the first six months of the year, an 11 per cent increase compared to the same period last year despite an overall softening in the global cargo market. This reflects the cargo division’s ability to meet customer demand with specialised products, and the excellent network options on offer with its freighter and bellyhold cargo operations.
Emirates profit for the first half of 2023-24 hit a new record of Dh9.4 billion, compared to same period last year’s profit of Dh4.0 billion. Emirates revenue, including other operating income, of Dh59.5 billion was up 19 per cent compared with the Dh50.1 billion recorded in the same period last year. The airline’s record performance is attributable to the strong passenger demand for international travel across markets and Emirates’ ability to activate capacity to match demand; and offer customers great value and services.
Emirates’ direct operating costs (including fuel) grew by 9 per cent in line with increased operations. Fuel remains the largest component of the airline’s operating cost (34 per cent), compared to 38 per cent in the same period last year.
Driven by strong demand and increased operations during the six months, Emirates’ Ebitda grew by 33 per cent to Dh19.5 billion compared to Dh14.7 billion for the same period last year.
Dnata continued to ramp up operations across its cargo and ground handling, catering and retail, and travel services businesses. This drove strong revenue growth in the first six months of 2023-24.
In the first half of 2023-24, dnata’s catering and airport services won significant new contracts and grew existing customers across its international operations.
Dnata also continued to make strategic investments in its business and implement innovative technology and other initiatives to better respond to customer needs. Highlights in the first half of 2023-24 include: the acquisition of an additional 29 per cent stake in Imagine Cruising, bringing to 81.4 per cent its shareholding in UK’s leading cruise and stay holiday distributors; the implementation of AI-powered solutions to enhance dnata’s cargo handling operations and capabilities in Singapore; and the switch to a biofuel blend for road transport vehicles in the UAE used by dnata Logistics, Arabian Adventures, Alpha Flight Services, and City Sightseeing to reduce emissions and address rising customer expectations for transport options with lower environmental footprint.
Dnata’s revenue, including other operating income, of Dh9.3 billion increased by 27 per cent compared to Dh7.3 billion generated in the same period last year.
Overall profit for dnata is Dh709 million (US$ 193 million), compared to same period last year’s Dh236 million (US$ 64 million).
Dnata’s airport operations remains the largest contributor to revenue with Dh4.1 billion, an 18 per cent increase compared to the same period last year, as its airline customers’ operations continued to pick up particularly in Australia, Singapore, UK, and the UAE. Across its operations, the number of aircraft turns handled by dnata increased by 11 per cent to 384,656, and it handled 1.3 million tonnes of cargo, down by 5 per cent reflecting further softening of the global air freight market after a pandemic-driven surge.
Dnata’s flight catering and retail operations, contributed Dh3.5 billion to its revenue, up 45 per cent with strong production increases in Australia, Italy, UK, and the US to meet customer demand. The number of meals uplifted increased by 31 per cent to 66.3 million meals compared to last year’s 50.5 million meals.
Dnata’s travel division contributed Dh1.4 billion to revenue, up 16 per cent compared to Dh1.2 billion for the same period last year. dnata saw strong contributions from Destination Asia, its destination management business in Asia; and from its cruise holidays business, Imagine Cruising, in which dnata has acquired controlling interest. The division reported an underlying total transactional value (TTV) sales of Dh4.0 billion, compared to Dh3.5 billion for the same period last year.
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