Emirates, the Arab World’s largest airline, expects to cross the $1 billion (Dh3.67bn) mark in net profit in this financial year ending March 2008, a senior executive has revealed.
That would mean an increase of 18.5 per cent over the airline’s net of $844 million (Dh3.1bn) in the financial year ended March 2007.
“Emirates will make a profit in this financial year of at least $1bn (Dh3.67bn), net,” Maurice Flanagan, executive vice-chairman of Emirates airline and group, told Business 24|7 in an interview.
Increased passenger and cargo traffic was responsible for Emirates’ rise in profit in the last financial year from the previous year’s level of $674m (Dh2.5bn). Revenues, for 2006-2007 totalled Dh29.8bn, a 29.5 per cent increase over the previous year’s Dh23.1bn.
The airline has logged double-digit profit growth for the past several years, which paves the way for an initial public offering based on a goverment decision in the future. Emirates Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum last month indicated the airline could sell as much as 30 per cent of the company in an IPO.
“We have not begun any steps so far, but the intention is there,” Sheikh Ahmed said, adding the stock would list in Dubai. He did not specify when shares might be sold.
Flanagan said: “It depends on the owner of the airline, which is the government, how soon would Emirates become a listed company.”
The airline is buying 120 Airbus A350 XWB (extra wide body) aircraft; 11 additional A380 superjumbos; and 12 Boeing 777-300ER planes to meet expansion plans. All these orders were announced at last month’s air show in Dubai.
These orders total $34.9bn (Dh128bn) at list prices. They bring Emirates’ total order book up to more than $60bn (Dh220bn). The airline has 111 aircraft in service and 246 on order.