Emirates' half-year profit jumps 104% as passenger traffic rises
- United Arab Emirates: Monday, November 12 - 2012 at 11:28
Dubai-based Emirates Airline said it posted a net profit of $464m for the first six months of its current fiscal year ending September 30, a rise of 104% compared to the same period a year ago.
"Emirates remained focused on its growth and global expansion despite on-going fluctuating exchange rates and ever lingering high fuel prices which accounted for 39 per cent of our expenditures, down 2 percentage points from last year," said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group. "The instability in the market over the past six months has put Emirates to the test, and once again we have risen to the challenge, our results speak for themselves."
The airline said its capacity and passenger traffic grew by 17.3% and 17.8%, respectively, while its passenger seat factor averaged 80%, slightly above last year's 79%.
Emirates' revenue, including other operating income, of $9.7bn was higher by 17% compared with $8.2bn recorded last year, largely reflecting a strong passenger yield based on constant high fuel prices, the carrier said.
"Emirates first half performance shows that despite ongoing fuel price escalation, the carrier has still managed to boost earnings and drive revenue through its expansion," said Saj Ahmad, aviation analyst at StrategicAero Research.
"Coupled with a solid 80% load factor, a profit of $464m is a figure many other carriers in this climate simply cannot attain in a year, let alone six months. And given the vast amount of traffic it is generating and sustaining, the airline is well placed to meet or exceed record profits by next May if things stay on track," he added.
Looking ahead, Ahmad said Emirates' rapid expansion will keep it ahead of its GCC rivals, but cautioned that it may soon outgrow its current home at Dubai International Airport. "If they carry on growing at their current rate, they may well have to consider utilising space at Al Maktoum International Airport which opens for passenger services next year. Taking advantage of the vacant space there will allow Emirates to leverage that capacity to further augment new routes and induct new airplanes," he noted.
The five new destinations launched by Emirates in the first half of its fiscal year were Ho Chi Minh City, Barcelona, Lisbon, Erbil and Washington, D.C. Additional new routes to be added during the second half of the fiscal year include Adelaide, which launched 1st November and the upcoming routes of Lyon, Phuket, Warsaw and Algiers.
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