Emirates Group said in its 2018/19 financial year report that cargo arm Emirates SkyCargo continued to deliver a strong performance in a “highly competitive market with dampening demand”.
The freight arm of the said in an airfreight market facing unrelenting downward pressure on yields and slowing demand, Emirates’ cargo division reported a revenue of AED 13.1 billion (US$3.6 billion), an increase of five per cent over last year, while tonnage carried slightly increased by one per cent to reach 2.7 million tonnes.
Freight yield per freight tonne kilometre for the 2nd consecutive year increased by a further three per cent which Emirates SkyCargo said demonstrated its ability to retain and win customers on value despite fuel price increases, and a weakened demand in many markets.
Emirates’ SkyCargo’s total freighter fleet stood at 12 Boeing 777Fs. In addition to belly capacity to Emirates’ new passenger destinations, Emirates SkyCargo launched a new freighter service to Bogota (Columbia), and resumed freighter services to Erbil (Iraq).
The Emirates Group as a whole reported its 31st consecutive year of profit as in the 2018/19 financial year it achieved a profit of AED 2.3 billion – a 44 per cent fall from 2017/18.
The Dubai-headquartered company did though net a record revenue in the period of more than AED 109 billion – up seven per cent on last year.
Emirates Airline posted a profit of AED 871 million, down 69 per cent from the previous financial year despite revenues increasing by six per cent to AED 97.9 billion, supported by steady passenger and cargo performance. Emirates SkyCargo contributed to 14 per cent of the airline’s total transport revenue.
Ground handling arm dnata made a record profit of AED 1.4 billion which includes AED 321 million gain from one-time sale of HRG stake and revenues increased by 10 per cent to AED 14.4 billion, reflecting further business expansion with international business now accounting for 70 per cent of revenue. dnata’s cargo handling slightly declined by one per cent to 727,000 tonnes, impacted by lower demand in the overall air cargo market.
Emirates Airline and Group chairman and chief executive, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said: “2018-19 has been tough, and our performance was not as strong as we would have liked. Higher oil prices and the strengthened US dollar eroded our earnings, even as competition intensified in our key markets.
“The uptick in global airfreight demand from the previous year appears to have gone into reverse gear, and we also saw travel demand weaken, particularly in our region, impacting both dnata and Emirates.
“Every business cycle is different, and we continue to work smart and hard to tackle the challenges and take advantage of opportunities. Our goal has always been to build a profitable, sustainable, and responsible business based in Dubai, and these principles continue to guide our decisions and investments.
“In 2018-19, Emirates and dnata delivered our 31st consecutive year of profit, recorded growth across the business, and invested in initiatives and infrastructure that will secure our future success.”