Emirates reported a group profit of AED2.3 billion ($631 million) for the 12 months to March, down 44% on the previous year despite a 7% rise in turnover to AED109 billion ($29.8 billion).

The Emirates airline profit fell 69% year on year to AED871 million ($237 million) despite a 6% increase in revenue to $26.7 billion.

Emirates’ passenger numbers rose just 0.2% year on year to 58.6 million despite capacity increasing by 4% as it reported “stiff competition across its key markets”.

However, ground-handling, cargo, flight-catering and travel group dnata made a record profit of $394 million over the 12 months – although $88 million of this was from the sale of Emirates’ stake in travel management company HRG to American Express Global Business Travel, an acquisition completed last July.

Dnata’s turnover increased by 10% to $3.9 billion with the acquisition of airline catering services in Australia and the Americas.

Chairman and chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said: “Higher oil prices and the strengthened US dollar eroded our earnings, as competition intensified in key markets.

“We saw travel demand weaken, particularly in our region, impacting both dnata and Emirates.”

He added: “It’s hard to predict the year ahead, but both Emirates and dnata are well positioned to compete in the global marketplace.”

Emirates took delivery of 13 new aircraft during the financial year – seven A380s and six Boeing 777s – but only added two aircraft to its fleet, taking the total to 270.

It spent $ 3.9 billion on new aircraft and equipment, acquisitions and technology, up from $ 2.5 billion the previous year.

The carrier announced an order for 40 A330-900s and 30 A350-900s worth $21.4 billion in February and will receive another 14 A380s between now and the end of 2021, taking its total A380 order to 123.

It reported having an additional $3.9 billion to fund future fleet growth.

Europe contributed the largest share of Emirates’ revenue, up 6% year on year to $7.7 billion. East Asia and Australasia followed with $7.2 billion, up 5%. The Americas recorded 8% revenue growth to $ 3.9 billion.

Revenue in Africa rose 9% to $2.8 billion, but Gulf and Middle East revenue fell 3% to $2.3 billion. West Asia and Indian Ocean revenue increased 6% to $2.2 billion.

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