By Alexander Cornwell
DUBAI (Reuters) – Dubai state-owned airline Emirates will report “positive” full-year results next month but they will not be as good as in previous years due to higher fuel costs and unfavourable currency moves, the company’s president said on Monday.
The Dubai state-owned carrier, which last year warned of a tough second-half, will report results on May 9.
“It has not been easy, in terms of the results,” Tim Clark said at the Arabian Travel Market exhibition in Dubai.
“We’ve managed to come ahead with positive results, although it’s not as good as it has been in the past.”
He said the airline was satisfied with its performance given the headwinds it has faced over the past year.
First-half profit plunged 86 percent to its lowest in a decade and Emirates warned in November that relentless downward pressure on margins and uncertain economic and political realties around the world would make for a difficult second-half.
Clark said on Monday the airline was no longer growing at the pace it used to due to geopolitical issues in the Middle East and elsewhere.
Middle East airlines have also seen demand hit over the past five years by a collapse in oil prices, weakening consumer demand in the oil-rich region.
Clark noted that the recent rise in oil prices had not led to a resurgence in premium travel demand and the current price of around $70 (£54) a barrel was too high, Clark said, adding he was in favour of price between $50 and $60.
Fuel costs are one of the single largest operational expenses for airlines.
(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Writing by Tuqa Khalid; editing by Louise Heavens and Kirsten Donovan)