The Emirates Group is reporting a 2023-24 half-year net profit of AED 10.1 billion (US$ 2.7 billion), surpassing its record half-year profit of AED 4.2 billion (US$ 1.2 billion) last year by 138%. It is the group's best sixth-month financial result ever.
The group also reported an EBITDA of AED 20.6 billion (US$ 5.6 billion), a significant improvement from AED 15.3 billion (US$ 4.2 billion) during the same period last year, illustrating its strong operating profitability.
Group revenue was AED 67.3 billion (US$ 18.3 billion) for the first six months of 2023-24, up 20% from AED 56.3 billion (US$ 15.3 billion) last year. This was driven by strong demand for air transport across the world, which has been on an upward trajectory since the last pandemic travel restrictions were lifted.
The group closed the first half year of 2023-24 with a solid cash position of AED 42.7 billion (US$ 11.6 billion) on 30 September 2023, compared to AED 42.5 billion (US$ 11.6 billion) on 31 March 2023. The Group has been able to tap on its own strong cash reserves to support business needs, including debt payments. So far, Emirates has repaid AED 9.2 billion of its COVID-19 related loans. The Group also paid AED 4.5 billion in dividend to its owner, as declared at the end of its 2022-23 financial year.
His Highness (HH) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group said: “We are seeing the fruition of our plans to return stronger and better from the dark days of the pandemic. The Group has surpassed previous records to report our best-ever half-year performance. Our profit for the first six months of 2023-24 has nearly matched our record full year profit in 2022-23. This is a tremendous achievement that speaks to the talent and commitment within the organisation, the strength of our business model, and power of Dubai’s vision and policies that has enabled the creation of a strong, resilient, and progressive aviation sector.
“Across the group, we’ve continued to ramp up operations safely and move nimbly to meet customer demand. We’ve implemented a series of service and product enhancements to win customer preference, and we’ll continue to invest in our people, products, partnerships, and technology to strengthen our capabilities and ensure we are future ready.”
HH Sheikh Ahmed added: “For the second half of 2023-24, we expect customer demand across our business divisions to remain healthy and we will stay agile in how we deploy our resources in this dynamic marketplace. At the same time, we are keeping a close watch on headwinds such as rising fuel prices, the strengthening US dollar, inflationary costs, and geo-politics.”
To support increased operations and business activities, the Emirates Group’s employee base, compared to March 31, 2023, grew 6% to an overall count of 108,996 on 30 September 2023. Both Emirates and dnata have ongoing recruitment drives to support their future requirements.
dnata continued to ramp up operations across its cargo and ground handling, catering and retail, and travel services businesses. This drove strong revenue growth in the first six months of 2023-24.
In the first half of 2023-24, dnata’s catering and airport services won significant new contracts and grew existing customers across its international operations. This shows dnata’s ability to serve the growing operations of airline customers, and deliver high quality products and services despite lingering operational challenges in many markets such as a shortage of skilled workforce, supply chain issues, and inflationary pressures.
dnata also continued to make strategic investments in its business and implement innovative technology and other initiatives to better respond to customer needs. Highlights in the first half of 2023-24 include: the acquisition of an additional 29% stake in Imagine Cruising, bringing to 81.4% its shareholding in UK’s leading cruise and stay holiday distributors; the implementation of AI-powered solutions to enhance dnata’s cargo handling operations and capabilities in Singapore; and the switch to a biofuel blend for road transport vehicles in the UAE used by dnata Logistics, Arabian Adventures, Alpha Flight Services, and City Sightseeing to reduce emissions and address rising customer expectations for transport options with lower environmental footprint.
dnata’s revenue, including other operating income, of AED 9.3 billion (US$ 2.5 billion) increased by 27% compared to AED 7.3 billion (US$ 2.0 billion) generated in the same period last year.
Overall profit for dnata is AED 709 million (US$ 193 million), compared to same period last year’s AED 236 million (US$ 64 million).
dnata’s airport operations remains the largest contributor to revenue with AED 4.1 billion (US$ 1.1 billion), an 18% increase compared to the same period last year, as its airline customers’ operations continued to pick up particularly in Australia, Singapore, UK, and the UAE. Across its operations, the number of aircraft turns handled by dnata increased by 11% to 384,656, and it handled 1.3 million tonnes of cargo, down by 5% reflecting further softening of the global air freight market after a pandemic-driven surge.
dnata’s flight catering and retail operations, contributed AED 3.5 billion (US$ 942 million) to its revenue, up 45% with strong production increases in Australia, Italy, UK, and the US to meet customer demand. The number of meals uplifted increased by 31% to 66.3 million meals compared to last year’s 50.5 million meals.
dnata's travel division contributed AED 1.4 billion (US$ 375 million) to revenue, up 16% compared to AED 1.2 billion (US$ 323 million) for the same period last year. dnata saw strong contributions from Destination Asia, its destination management business in Asia; and from its cruise holidays business, Imagine Cruising, in which dnata has acquired controlling interest. The division reported an underlying total transactional value (TTV) sales of AED 4.0 billion (US$ 1.1 billion), compared to AED 3.5 billion (US$ 960 million) for the same period last year.
Emirates continued to increase its global flight operations, adding capacity and connections through its Dubai hub to meet customer demand across markets. During the first half of 2023-24, the airline restored A380 operations to Bali, Beijing, Birmingham, Casablanca, Nice, Shanghai, and Taiwan.
In July, it launched daily non-stop services to Montreal, a new destination and the airline’s second gateway in Canada.
Expanding connectivity options for customers, Emirates entered and enhanced codeshare or interline agreements with 8 airlines in the first six months of 2023-24: Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Etihad Airways, Kenya Airways, Philippine Airlines, Maldivian, Sri Lankan Airlines, and United Airlines. The codeshare partnership between Emirates and Qantas, which has seen over 15 million travellers benefit from joint flight itineraries since its establishment in 2013, received approvals for a further 5-year extension until 2027.
By Sept. 30, the airline was operating passenger and cargo services to 144 airports, utilizing its entire Boeing 777 fleet and 104 A380s. During the first six months of 2023-24, 10 A380 aircraft rolled out of Emirates’ retrofit programme with completely refreshed cabin interiors and latest onboard products including Premium Economy seats. This enabled the airline to deploy its highly sought-after Premium Economy services on more new routes including New York JFK, Houston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Singapore.
In the first half of 2023-24, Emirates launched a new global brand advertising campaign featuring Hollywood actor Penelope Cruz; and introduced initiatives to enhance customer travel experience including: a new city check-in facility at Dubai International Financial Centre, free onboard Wi-Fi for Emirates Skywards members, and a new meal pre-ordering capability for customers to select their meal options in advance of travel.
Overall capacity during the first six months of the year increased by 25% to 28.5 billion Available Tonne Kilometres (ATKM) due to an expanded flight programme. Capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASKM), increased by 30%, whilst passenger traffic carried measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKM) was up by 35% with an average Passenger Seat Factor of 81.5%, compared with 78.5% during the same period last year.
Emirates carried 26.1 million passengers between April 1 and Sept. 30 2023, up 31% from the same period last year. Emirates Skycargo uplifted 1,035,000 tonnes in the first six months of the year, an 11% increase compared to the same period last year despite an overall softening in the global cargo market. This reflects the cargo division’s ability to meet customer demand with specialised products, and the excellent network options on offer with its freighter and bellyhold cargo operations.
Emirates profit for the first half of 2023-24 hit a new record of AED 9.4 billion (US$ 2.6 billion), compared to same period last year’s profit of AED 4.0 billion (US$ 1.1 billion). Emirates revenue, including other operating income, of AED 59.5 billion (US$ 16.2 billion) was up 19% compared with the AED 50.1 billion (US$ 13.7 billion) recorded in the same period last year. The airline’s record performance is attributable to the strong passenger demand for international travel across markets and Emirates’ ability to activate capacity to match demand; and offer customers great value and services.
Emirates’ direct operating costs (including fuel) grew by 9% in line with increased operations. Fuel remains the largest component of the airline’s operating cost (34%), compared to 38% in the same period last year.
Driven by strong demand and increased operations during the six months, 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.