Fuel ‚Äústifles” Emirates profits

Fuel ‚Äústifles” Emirates profits
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Despite recording its 24th consecutive year of profit, the Emirates Group has admitted it was hit hard by the “stifling” cost of fuel as it revealed its annual results.

The group posted a net profit of 2.3 billion Emirati dirhams ($630 million) for 2011/12 as group revenue reached a record high, climbing 17.8% on last year’s result to 67.4 billion dirhams ($18.2 billion).

But the result came in the face of “fundamental challenges,” the group said, specifically spiralling fuel costs which saw its fuel bill shoot up by 44.4% to reach 24.3 billion dirhams ($6.5 billion).

Although the airline also recorded record revenue of 62.3 billion dirhams ($16.8 billion), up 14.9% on the previous year, its profit sat “significantly lower" than the previous year at 1.5 billion dirhams ($410 million) representing a substantial decrease of 72.1% on last year.

In addition, unrest in the Middle East had made it an “operationally challenging year”.

“Managing volatile exchange rates, coupled with our highest ever fuel bill, has required immense tenacity,” chairman and chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said.

The group invested close to 14 billion dirhams ($3.8 billion) in new products over the year which he claimed had “garnered new customers” and cemented its international presence.

The year saw Emirates take delivery of 22 new aircraft and grow its network with 11 new destinations, upping capacity to a further 34 cities.

“We move into the new financial year with cautious optimism, navigating our way through the difficult economic climate with a clear vision for our continued success,” Sheikh Ahmed said.

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