Emirates says profits quadruple as revenues rise 35%

Image caption,
Sheikh Ahmed said Emirates' growth was financed by the airline's own profits

Middle Eastern airline Emirates has reported that its profits more than quadrupled in the last six months, as revenues rose by over a third.

Its figures showed business strengthening across the board, with passengers up 17.3% compared with a year ago, and cargo tonnage up 23.7%.

The company hopes to dominate Europe-Asia routes, ordering 32 Airbus super jumbos and 30 Boeing 777s this year.

But it has been accused in Europe of benefiting from unfair state subsidies.

Air France chief executive Pierre-Henri Gourgeon claimed in October that the Gulf states were providing unfair financial support to their national carriers.

He said that Emirates, which is owned by the Emirate of Dubai, benefited from cheap airport and fuel taxes at its hub.

"We continue to invest our profits in growing the business," claimed Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, chief executive of the Dubai-based airline commenting on the results, in an implicit rebuttal of the European claim that growth was supported by government money.

"Our healthy financial position enables us to successfully meet all of our financial commitments and raise financing for future aircraft deliveries," he added.

The company reported total profits of 3.4bn dirhams ($925m, £575m) for the six months ending in September, up from 752m dirhams in the same period a year earlier.

Total revenues for the period were up 35% at 26.4bn dirhams.

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