In its annual report, the Group said even with external challenges, its revenue was up to $21.1 billion, an increase of 17 per cent over last year’s earnings while its cash balance grew by 53 per cent to $7.3 billion.
“Achieving our 25th consecutive year of profit in a financial year with our largest ever increase in capacity across the network is an achievement that speaks to the strength of our brands and our leadership,” Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, said on Tuesday.
Sheikh Ahmed said during the 2012-2013 financial year, the Group had collectively invested over $3.8 billion in new aircraft, products, services and handling facilities as well as the newly opened JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai.
“This investment has resulted in an increased customer base and a rise in global brand awareness. Every dirham that we earn is strategically placed back into our business and it is this tenacious approach that has allowed the Group to maintain such strong and consistent profitability under challenging circumstances,” he said.
Despite a difficult operating environment, the Group continued to invest in and expand on its employee base, increasing its overall staff count by 12 per cent to 68,000.
The year also saw the largest increase in the airline’s history, receiving 34 new aircraft, the highest in any single year. The aircrafts were funded by raising more than US$ 7.8 billion through a variety of financing structures.
Sheik Ahmed said overall capacity measured in Available Tonne Kilometres (ATKMs) increased by 5.5 billion tonne-kilometres.
Other significant capacity increases include launching 10 new destinations across six continents, shipping more than two million tonnes of cargo for the first time and carrying an additional 5.4 million passengers over the last year, the highest increase in a financial year.
However, in the 2012-13 financial year, Emirates’ fuel bill increased by 15 per cent over that of last year to reach $7.6 billion, with total operating costs increasing by 16 per cent compared to a revenue increase of 17 per cent.
Sheikh Ahmed said: “Managing volatile exchange rates, coupled with a persistently high fuel bill accounting for 40 per cent of our total expenditures, has required continued strong resolve.
“Even with these lingering challenges we continue to grow and remain profitable despite the industry norms because we continue to rely on our proven business model and understanding of the marketplace.”
Revenue generated from across Emirates’ six regions continues to be well balanced with no region contributing more than 30 per cent. East Asia and Australasia remained the highest revenue contributing regions with $5.7 billion up 15 per cent from 2011-2012.
Europe is up 18 per cent to $5.5 billion and the Americas up 24 per cent to $2.3 billion saw the most significant growth, reflecting new destinations as well as increased frequency and capacity to these regions.
Across the rest of the globe Emirates saw strong revenue increases from West Asia and the Indian Ocean up 13 per cent to $2.2 billion, Gulf/Middle East up 13 per cent to $1.9 billion and Africa with $1.8 billion in revenue, up 10 per cent.
“We move into the new financial year with confidence and a clear vision of where we are headed. We understand that succeeding in this industry requires determination and we are unapologetic about our drive to be the best,” Sheikh Ahmed said.