By Rhys Jones
As Emirates posts profits for the 17th consecutive year, Sheikh Ahmed aims for further growth.
The Emirates Group last week announced record-breaking net profits of US$708 million for the financial year ended March 31, 2005, a US$232 million increase over the previous year.
“We’ve had yet another successful year for the company, and the 17th consecutive profitable one for the airline,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman, Emirates Airline.
Group revenues increased by US$1.4 billion to US$$5.2 billion against US$$3.8 billion last year. The Emirates Group comprises Emirates Airline, Dnata and subsidiary companies.
Emirates airline’s revenues totalled US$4.9 billion for the year, US$1.3 billion above income of US$3.6 billion in 2003-04. Airline profits of US$$637 million were US$208 million better than last year’s profits of US$$429 million. The group’s cash balance totaled US$2.2 billion at the end of March, an improvement of US$2.0 billion a year earlier.
For 2004-05 Emirates will pay an increased dividend of US$100 million to its owner, the Government of Dubai, compares to US$90 million last year. In total, the ownership will have received US$$291 million from Emirates since dividends started being paid six years ago.