Dubai's Emirates airline says profit surged by 56 percent
Dubai - AFP
Dubai's Emirates airline said on Tuesday its profit surged by 56 percent last year to $1.9 billion, as passenger numbers grew and fuel bills dropped.
Emirates said however that its revenues dropped four percent to $23.2 billion, mainly as a result of a strong US dollar against currencies in most of its markets.
The largest Middle East carrier said it carried 51.9 million passengers in the financial year 2015-16, up eight percent from the year before.
Emirates chief executive officer Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum hailed a 28th consecutive year of profit for the Gulf carrier, but told reporters that a strong dollar to which the UAE dirham is pegged "will continue to be a challenge."
In a statement to the press, he spoke of an "unfavourable currency situation which eroded our revenues and profits."
He also spoke of "weak consumer confidence and investor sentiment," highlighting a negative impact from record low oil prices on global business.
"We expect that the low oil prices will continue to be a double-edged sword -- a boon for our operating costs, but a bane for global business and consumer confidence," he said.