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DUBAI: November 09, 2016: The Emirates Group has reported a 64 percent year-on-year drop in net profit to US$364 million for the first half of its financial year ending September 30, 2016.

Group revenue rose one percent in the period to US$12.7 billion with Emirates Airline contributing US$11.4 billion, down one percent, as dnata increased revenue 14 percent to US$1.6 billion. In the past six months cash assets fell 40 percent to US$3.2 billion for the airline and 13 percent to US$825 million for dnata.

EK A330 retiredChairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said the result reflected increased competition, a strong U.S. Dollar against other currencies, and sustained economic and political uncertainty in many parts of the world.

"The bleak global economic outlook appears to be the new norm, with no immediate resolution in sight," he noted.

Emirates SkyCargo carried 1.3 million tonnes during the period – unchanged from the same period last year as capacity rose 9.0 percent. Dnata increased its cargo handling 28 percent to 1.2 million tonnes.

In a bid to reduce operating costs that rose 5.0 percent during the period, the airline has continued to take delivery of new aircraft and retire older units. Over the past six months it has put eight more A380s into service for a total of 75, and added eight more B777s to a fleet that is now the largest in the world at 160 aircraft. At the same time it has retired the last of 18 A330s and five A340s - resulting in an airline fleet with an average age of 5.2 years.

Despite the fall in profits, Sheikh Ahmed said the group's past investments in products and services were now paying off: "We continue to make strategic investments, because we know we have to work even harder for every customer, and make every dollar spent go even further through innovation and driving efficiency across our business," he declared.

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