The Emirates Group has made a profit for the 31st year in a row despite taking a substantial financial hit from higher oil prices, a stronger dollar and weakening demand.
The group recorded a profit of $631 million from a record revenue of $29.8 billion for the year ending 31 March 2019, up 7% on the previous year.
Despite the revenue growth, the profit represented a 44% plunge on the previous year, with Emirates Airline and Group chairman and chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum blaming external factors.
He added: “2018-19 has been tough, and our performance was not as strong as we would have liked.
“Higher oil prices and the strengthened US dollar eroded our earnings, even as competition intensified in our key markets.
“The uptick in global airfreight demand from the previous year appears to have gone into reverse gear, and we also saw travel demand weaken, particularly in our region, impacting both dnata and Emirates.”
While the group’s profits suffered, its airline arm was worse hit, with a profit of $237 million representing a 69% drop on the previous year.
However, the fall in profits again coincided with a growth in revenues, this time of 6% to $26.7 billion
Airline capacity also broke the 63 billion Available Tonne Kilometres (ATKM) following the net addition of two aircraft to the fleet.
However, it wasn’t all bad news on the profits for the group as its subsidiary dnata, which owns Gold Medal and Travel2, returned a record profit of $394 million.
Sheikh Ahmed added: “Every business cycle is different, and we continue to work smart and hard to tackle the challenges and take advantage of opportunities.
“Our goal has always been to build a profitable, sustainable, and responsible business based in Dubai, and these principles continue to guide our decisions and investments.
“In 2018-19, Emirates and dnata delivered our 31st consecutive year of profit, recorded growth across the business, and invested in initiatives and infrastructure that will secure our future success.”