DUBAI- The Emirates (EK) Group has announced its most successful six-month financial result to date. The 2023-24 half-year net profit reached AED 10.1 billion (US$ 2.7 billion), marking a remarkable 138% increase from last year’s record half-year profit of AED 4.2 billion (US$ 1.2 billion).
Additionally, the Group reported an EBITDA of AED 20.6 billion (US$ 5.6 billion), showcasing a substantial improvement from AED 15.3 billion (US$ 4.2 billion) during the corresponding period last year, highlighting its robust operating profitability.
Emirates Best Half-Year Performance
For the first six months of 2023-24, the Group’s revenue amounted to AED 67.3 billion (US$ 18.3 billion), reflecting a 20% increase from AED 56.3 billion (US$ 15.3 billion) last year. This growth is attributed to the strong global demand for air transport, which has been consistently rising since the lifting of pandemic travel restrictions.
As of September 30, 2023, the Group concluded the first half of the year with a solid cash position of AED 42.7 billion (US$ 11.6 billion), compared to AED 42.5 billion (US$ 11.6 billion) on March 31, 2023.
Leveraging its robust cash reserves, the Group supported business needs, including debt payments, with AED 9.2 billion of COVID-19-related loans already repaid by Emirates.
Furthermore, the Group fulfilled its financial commitments by paying its owner AED 4.5 billion in dividends, as declared at the conclusion of the 2022-23 financial year.
HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, expressed,
“We are witnessing the realization of our plans to emerge stronger and better from the challenging days of the pandemic. The Group has achieved unprecedented success, surpassing previous records to report our best-ever half-year performance. The profit for the first six months of 2023-24 has nearly equaled our record full-year profit in 2022-23. This remarkable accomplishment reflects the talent and dedication within the organization, the robustness of our business model, and the effectiveness of Dubai’s vision and policies in creating a resilient and progressive aviation sector.
“Throughout the Group, we have diligently increased operations while adapting to customer demand. We’ve introduced service and product enhancements to earn customer preference, and our commitment to investing in our people, products, partnerships, and technology remains steadfast to fortify our capabilities for the future.”
HH Sheikh Ahmed continued,
“In the second half of 2023-24, we anticipate sustained healthy customer demand across our business divisions and will remain flexible in resource deployment in this dynamic marketplace. Simultaneously, we are vigilant about challenges such as rising fuel prices, a stronger US dollar, inflationary costs, and geopolitical factors.”
To support expanded operations and business activities, the Emirates Group’s employee base grew by 6%, reaching a total count of 108,996 on September 30, 2023, compared to March 31, 2023. Both Emirates and Dnata are actively recruiting to meet their future needs.
Emirates Rapid Growth
Emirates has continued its global flight operations expansion, increasing capacity and connections through its Dubai hub to meet growing customer demand. In the first half of 2023-24, the airline reinstated A380 operations to several destinations, including Bali, Beijing, Birmingham, Casablanca, Nice, Shanghai, and Taiwan.
In July, Emirates launched daily non-stop services to Montreal, its second gateway in Canada, introducing further connectivity options for customers by entering and enhancing codeshare or interline agreements with eight airlines: Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Etihad Airways, Kenya Airways, Philippine Airlines, Maldivian, Sri Lankan Airlines, and United Airlines. The codeshare partnership with Qantas, established in 2013 and benefitting over 15 million travelers, received approvals for a five-year extension until 2027.
As of September 30, Emirates operated passenger and cargo services to 144 airports, utilizing its entire Boeing 777 fleet and 104 A380s. During this period, 10 A380 aircraft underwent Emirates’ retrofit program, featuring refreshed cabin interiors and the latest onboard products, including Premium Economy seats. Premium Economy services were extended to new routes, such as New York JFK, Houston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Singapore.
In the first half of 2023-24, Emirates launched a global brand advertising campaign with Hollywood actor Penelope Cruz and introduced initiatives to enhance the customer travel experience, including a city check-in facility at Dubai International Financial Centre, free onboard Wi-Fi for Emirates Skywards members, and a meal pre-ordering capability.
Overall capacity increased by 25% to 28.5 billion Available Tonne Kilometres (ATKM), with capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASKM) rising by 30%. Passenger traffic measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKM) increased by 35%, achieving an average Passenger Seat Factor of 81.5%, compared to 78.5% in the same period last year.
Emirates carried 26.1 million passengers, a 31% increase from the same period last year, and Emirates Skycargo uplifted 1,035,000 tonnes, an 11% increase despite a softened global cargo market.
Emirates achieved a record profit of AED 9.4 billion (US$ 2.6 billion) in the first half of 2023-24, compared to AED 4.0 billion (US$ 1.1 billion) in the same period last year. The revenue, including other operating income, reached AED 59.5 billion (US$ 16.2 billion), a 19% increase from AED 50.1 billion (US$ 13.7 billion) recorded last year. The airline’s performance is attributed to strong passenger demand, its capacity activation to match demand, and the offering of great value and services.
Emirates’ direct operating costs (including fuel) grew by 9% in line with increased operations, with fuel remaining the largest component of the operating cost at 34%, compared to 38% in the same period last year. Driven by strong demand and increased operations, Emirates’ EBITDA grew by 33% to AED 19.5 billion (US$ 5.3 billion) compared to AED 14.7 billion (US$ 4.0 billion) for the same period last year.
dnata continued to expand its operations across cargo and ground handling, catering and retail, and travel services, driving robust revenue growth in the first half of 2023-24.
During this period, dnata’s catering and airport services secured significant new contracts. They expanded existing customer relationships globally, showcasing its capability to meet the growing needs of airline customers despite ongoing operational challenges like workforce shortages, supply chain issues, and inflationary pressures.
dnata made strategic investments and implemented innovative technology, including the acquisition of an additional 29% stake in Imagine Cruising, enhancing its shareholding to 81.4%. The company also incorporated AI-powered solutions for cargo handling operations in Singapore.
It transitioned to a biofuel blend for road transport vehicles in the UAE, reducing emissions and aligning with customer expectations for environmentally friendly transport options.
dnata’s revenue, including other operating income, reached AED 9.3 billion (US$ 2.5 billion), a 27% increase from AED 7.3 billion (US$ 2.0 billion) in the same period last year.
The overall profit for dnata was AED 709 million (US$ 193 million), significantly surpassing the AED 236 million (US$ 64 million) recorded in the same period last year.
dnata’s airport operations, contributing AED 4.1 billion (US$ 1.1 billion), marked an 18% increase, driven by the pickup in airline customers’ operations, particularly in Australia, Singapore, the UK, and the UAE. The number of aircraft turns handled by dnata increased by 11% to 384,656, while cargo handling amounted to 1.3 million tonnes, down by 5% due to the softening global air freight market.
The flight catering and retail operations contributed AED 3.5 billion (US$ 942 million) to revenue, witnessing a 45% increase. Strong production increases in Australia, Italy, the UK, and the US met heightened customer demand, with the number of meals uplifted rising by 31% to 66.3 million.
dnata’s travel division contributed AED 1.4 billion (US$ 375 million) to revenue, a 16% increase compared to the same period last year. Strong performances from Destination Asia and the cruise holidays business, Imagine Cruising, in which dnata acquired a controlling interest, were notable.
The division reported underlying total transactional value (TTV) sales of AED 4.0 billion (US$ 1.1 billion), up from AED 3.5 billion (US$ 960 million) in the corresponding period last year.
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