By Sumaila Ogbaje
Emirate Airlines said it recorded profit of 670 million dollars in its 2016/2017 financial year, which ended on March 31, 2017.
The airline, which made this known in a statement by its spokesman, Ijeoma Okolie, on Thursday in Abuja, said that the performance reflected steady business growth in 29 consecutive years.
It said that Emirate Group’s revenue also rose to 25.8 billion dollars during the year, with an increase of two per cent from the 2015/2016 operation period.
It announced a cash balance of 5.2 billion dollars, but stated that the figure represented 19 per cent drop from the preceding period’s record.
The airline attributed the decrease in the cash balance for the period to the repayment of two bonds on maturity and investment into its fleet and aircraft-related assets.
It said that its workforce was currently over 105,000 and that its capacity crossed 60 billion available tonne kilometres.
It added that it acquired 35 new aircrafts and “retired’’ 27 older aircrafts during the year.
The statement quoted the Chairman of the airline, Ahmed Al Maktoum, as saying, “Emirates and dnata have continued to deliver profits and grow the business, in spite of 2016-17 being one of our most challenging years to date.
“Over the years, we have invested to build our business capabilities and brand reputation.
“We now reap the benefits as these strong foundations have helped us to weather the destabilizing events which have impacted travel demand during the year – from the Brexit vote to Europe’s immigration challenges and terror attacks.
“It is also from new policies impacting air travel into the US, to currency devaluation and funds repatriation issues in parts of Africa, and the continued knock-on effect of a sluggish oil and gas industry on business confidence and travel demand.”
Ahmed said that Emirate Group collectively invested 3.7 billion dollars in new aircraft and equipment, acquisition of companies, modern facilities, latest technologies, and staff initiatives.
He added that the investments would further strengthen the group’s resilience and extend its competitive edge as well as adapt its businesses to the volatile business climate and fast-changing consumer expectations.
According to him, Emirate remains optimistic for the future while expecting the year ahead to remain challenging with hyper competition squeezing airline yields.
“Emirate and dnata will stay attuned to the events and trends that impact our business, so that we can respond quickly to opportunities and challenges.
“We will also progress on our digital transformation journey.
“We are redesigning every aspect of how we do business, powered by an entirely new suite of technologies.
“Our aim is to deliver more personalized customer experiences, and seamless customer journeys, and make our operations and back-office functions even more efficient.
“Across its more than 80 subsidiaries and companies, the Group increased its total workforce by 11 per cent to over 105,000-strong, representing over 160 different nationalities,” Ahmed added.