The Emirates Group announced its half-year results for its 2019-20 financial year.
Group revenue was AED 53.3 billion (US$ 14.5 billion) for the first six months of 2019-20, down 2 percent from AED 54.4 billion (US$ 14.8 billion) during the same period last year.
This slight revenue decline was mainly due to planned capacity reductions during the 45-day Southern Runway closure at Dubai International airport (DXB), and unfavorable currency movements in Europe, Australia, South Africa, India, and Pakistan.
Profitability was up 8 percent compared to the same period last year, with the Group reporting a 2019-20 half-year net profit of AED 1.2 billion (US$ 320 million).
The profit improvement was primarily due to the decline in fuel prices of 9% compared to the same period last year, however, the gain from lower fuel costs was partially offset by negative currency movements.
“The Emirates Group delivered a steady and positive performance in the first half of 2019-20, by adapting our strategies to navigate the tough trading conditions and social-political uncertainty in many markets around the world. Both Emirates and dnata worked hard to minimize the impact of the planned runway renovations at DXB on our business and on our customers.
“We also kept a tight rein on controllable costs and continued to drive efficiency improvement, while ensuring that our resources were deployed nimbly to capitalize on areas of opportunity. The lower fuel cost was a welcome respite as we saw our fuel bill drop by AED 2.0 billion compared to the same period last year. However, unfavorable currency movements wiped off approximately AED 1.2 billion from our profits.
“The global outlook is difficult to predict, but we expect the airline and travel industry to continue facing headwinds over the next six months with stiff competition adding downward pressure on margins. As a Group, we remain focussed on developing our business, and we will continue to invest in new capabilities that empower our people, and enable us to offer even better products, services, and experiences for our customers.”
The Emirates Group’s employee base remained unchanged compared to 31 March 2019, at an overall average staff count of 105,315.
This is in line with the company’s planned capacity and business activities, and also reflects the various internal programs to improve efficiency through the implementation of new technology and workflows.