Emirates profits rise by half despite high fuel costs

May 02, 2008 (LBO) – Dubai’s Emirates Airlines, which owns a big stake in Sri Lanka’s national carrier, has reported group net profits increased 54.1 percent to 1.45 billion dollars for the financial year ended March 31, 2008. Group revenues rose 32.3 percent to 10.8 billion dollars during the period, the airline said in a statement.

Airline profits of 1.37 billion dollars marked a 62.1 percent increase over 2006-07’s record profits of 844 million dollars owing to improved yields and higher load factors on increased capacity; as well as other operating gains.

The airline said its profit growth came “despite soaring oil prices and challenging business conditions in the second half of its 2007-08 fiscal year.”

The Group net margin improved to 13.2 percent from 11.4 percent in the previous year.

The statement did not say how much profit Emirates made from its 43.6 percent stake in Sri Lankan Airlines in which it still has a board presence.

Emirates ended its 10-year management contract with Sri Lanka’s national carrier at the end of March after months of negotiations with the government failed owing to differences between the two parties.

Emirates also stopped sharing routes with Sri Lankan Airline