Emirates may be the only airline in the world with a reason to celebrate today. The 2019/20 business year for Dubai based Emirates ended on March 31, in the middle of the global COVID-19 outbreak. This didn’t stop the airline to post 1 $456 million dollar profit for the year.
The Emirates Group today announced its 32nd consecutive year of profit, against a drop in revenue mainly attributed to reduced operations during the planned DXB runway closure in the first quarter, and the impact of flight and travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the fourth quarter.
Released today in its 2019-20 Annual Report, the Emirates Group posted a profit of AED 1.7 billion (US$ 456 million) for the financial year ended 31 March 2020, down 28% from last year. The Group’s revenue reached AED 104.0 billion (US$ 28.3 billion), a decline of 5% over last year’s results. The Group’s cash balance was AED 25.6 billion (US$ 7.0 billion), up 15% from last year mainly due to a strong business performance up to February 2020 and lower fuel cost compared to the previous year.
Due to the unprecedented business environment from the ongoing pandemic, and to protect the Group’s liquidity position, the Group has not declared a dividend for this financial year after last year’s dividend of AED 500 million (US$ 136 million) to the Investment Corporation of Dubai.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, said: “For the first 11 months of 2019-20, Emirates and dnata were performing strongly, and we were on track to deliver against our business targets. However, from mid-February things changed rapidly as the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the world, causing a sudden and tremendous drop in demand for international air travel as countries closed their borders and imposed stringent travel restrictions.
“Even without a pandemic, our industry has always been vulnerable to a multitude of external factors. In 2019-20, the further strengthening of the US dollar against major currencies eroded our profits to the tune of AED 1.0 billion, global airfreight demand remained soft for most of the year, and competition intensified in our key markets.
“Despite the challenges, Emirates and dnata delivered our 32nd consecutive year of profit, due to healthy demand for our award-winning products and services, particularly in the second and third quarters of the year, combined with lower average fuel prices over the year.
“Every year we are tested on our agility and ability. While tackling the immediate challenges and taking advantage of opportunities that come our way, our decisions have always been guided by our long-term goal to build a profitable, sustainable, and responsible business based in Dubai.”