A 27th consecutive year of profit was revealed today by Emirates Group.
The Dubai-based company saw profits rise by 34% to $1.5 billion in the year to March over the same period a year earlier.
Revenue rose by 10% to $26.3 billion and the group's cash balance grew to $5.5 billion.
Subsidiary dnata achieved record profits as revenue increased by 36% to $2.8 billion. Dnata's international business now accounts for more than 60% of its revenue.
The “substantial” rise was achieved through organic growth, and bolstered by the first full year of Gold Medal Travel Group operations which dnata Travel acquired in March 2014, the acquisition of Stella Travel in October 2014, and the remaining 50% share in Toll dnata in Australia in February 2015.
Revenue from dnata's Travel Services division saw a sharp rise of 278% to reach $726 million and now represents the largest business segment in dnata by revenue contribution.
This was mainly attributed to business growth in the UK through the full year impact of Gold Medal Travel Group and the newly acquired business of Stella Travel as of October 2014.
The underlying total transaction value of travel services sold substantially increased by 66% to $2.7 billion.
Emirates airline achieved record revenue of $24.2 billion to achieve a profit of $1.2 billion, up 40% on the previous year, as it carried a record 49.3 million passengers, a rise of 11%.
"The financial year ending 31 March 2015 also marked the achievement of new capacity milestones at both Emirates and dnata, as the group continued to expand its global footprint, and strengthen its business through strategic investments,” Emirates said.
This came despite a “turbulent year” for aviation, said chairman and chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum,
The strong rise of the US dollar against currencies in many of Emirates' and dnata's key markets had a $412 million impact to the group's bottom line, while an 80-day disruption at Dubai airport had an estimated impact of $467 million on group revenue.
Sheikh Ahmed said: “The fall in oil prices provided cost relief in the second half of our financial year, however it did not offset the hit to our profitability caused by significant currency fluctuations, nor the hit to our revenue from operational adjustments in addressing the Ebola outbreak, armed conflicts in several regions, and the 80-day runway upgrading works at Dubai International airport.
“Achieving our 27th consecutive year of profit and one of our best performances to date, is testimony to the strength of our brands and business fundamentals, as well as the dedication and talent of our workforce.
“Looking ahead, the ongoing uncertainty for many currencies and economic markets around the world will continue to pose a challenge, as will the looming threat of protectionism in some countries.
“However, we move into the new financial year with confidence, and a strong foundation for continued profitability with our strong balance sheet, solid track record, diverse global portfolio, and international talent pool," said Sheikh Ahmed.
"We will continue on our journey of steady and rational growth, and work even harder to meet and exceed our customers' expectations."
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