Emirates first half profits nosedive

Nov 10, 2008 (LBO) – Dubai’s Emirates airline said on Monday its net profit for the first half of the financial year dropped a dramatic 88 percent to 77 million dollars because of high oil prices, AFP news agency reported. Emirates said its profit for the six months to September 30 plunged to 284 million dirhams (77 million dollars) from 2.36 billion dirhams (643 million dollars) in the same period last year.

The airline, the largest Middle East carrier which owns a 43 percent stake in Sri Lankan Airlines with which it ended a management contract in March, did not provide details of its earnings.

“The first half of the year has been very tough for the airline industry, with record fuel prices forcing many carriers to shut shops or consolidate,” Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum said in a statement.

“Emirates has worked hard to manage the impact of high fuel prices on our unit costs, while continuing to grow our business,” he added.

The government-owned carrier said its overall fuel costs were higher than budgeted by 469 million dollars.

For the full year to March 31, Emirates reported a 62 percent surge in net profit to 1.37 billion dollars.

Its fleet stands currently at