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Released in the Group’s 2011-12 Annual Report the company posted a $629 million net profit, with dnata marking its highest ever profit in 52 years of operation. Despite fundamental challenges, the group’s revenue reached a record high, climbing to $18.4 billion an increase of 17.8 per cent on last year’s results while its cash balance grew by 9.5 per cent reaching a strong $4.8 billion.
“Achieving our 24th consecutive year of profit and maintaining an upward growth trajectory is an achievement that belies the industry norm,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive, Emirates Airline and Group.
“Throughout the 2011-12 financial year the group has collectively invested close to $3.8 billion in new products. This investment has 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. Every dirham that we earn is strategically ploughed back into our business and it is this foresight that has allowed the group to maintain such strong and consistent profitability.”
Despite a difficult operating environment, the group continued to invest in and expand on its employee base, increasing its overall staff count by more than 10 per cent.
During the year Emirates received a staggering 22 new aircraft, its highest in any single year. With an increased fleet, Emirates further invested in its network by adding 11 new destinations and increasing capacity to 34 cities, a record for the airline.
“Managing volatile exchange rates, coupled with our highest ever fuel bill has required immense tenacity. Retaining growth and remaining profitable in these challenging economic times shows our profound understanding of the markets that we do business in,” added Sheikh Ahmed.
In the 2011-12 financial year Emirates’ fuel bill increased by 44.4 per cent over last year to reach $6.6 billion. With operating costs increasing by 24 per cent compared to a revenue increase of 16.2 per cent over last year, Emirates bore the brunt of the crippling cost of fuel for nearly one year, before reluctantly introducing a fuel surcharge on all tickets.
In addition to the cost of fuel Emirates had an operationally challenging year with the political unrest across the Middle East and North Africa affecting flight schedules. By keeping a tight focus on operations and modifying capacity and schedules Emirates was able to maintain profitability.
Emirates launched its highly successful $1 billion bond in June last year and despite many traditional financing partners suffering from the Eurozone debt crisis, the bond was well received by global investors reflecting confidence in the Emirates business model.
“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. We understand that succeeding in this industry requires determination and we are unapologetic about our drive to be the best.”
“We are never complacent, always striving for perfection and always acutely aware that we things can be done better. Customers’ expectations only get higher and it is up to us to ensure that we move upwards with them. With the help of our 63,000 strong multicultural workforce we have no doubt that the years ahead will again be more profitable than the last,” said Sheikh Ahmed.
With a further 232 aircraft on order worth over $84 billion, combined with the airline’s increasing worldwide passenger traffic, Emirates is set to continue to drive considerable economic growth in the countries that it serves.
With an increased fleet, Emirates launched 11 new destinations in 2011-12 including a strong focus on North America and South America in the final quarter with Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Seattle and Dallas-Fort Worth all launching between January and March 2012. Looking forward to 2012-13, Emirates has to date announced four new routes including Ho Chi Minh City, Barcelona, Lisbon and Washington D.C.