Dubai-based Emirates Group revenues reached AED102.4bn ($27.9bn) in the full year ending 31 March 2018, marking an 8 per cent increase over the previous year, the company said in a statement.

Annual profit reached $1.1bn, a 67 per cent increase compared to the previous year’s figure while its cash balance stood at $6.9bn, some 33 per cent higher than the previous year.

It attributed the improved cash balance to the $600m bond issued in March as well as strong sales, particularly during the Easter holidays towards the end of March.

The group declared a dividend of $545m to sole shareholder Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD).

Emirates Airline accounted for $25.2bn of the total revenue, with cargo and ground handling affiliate Dnata accounting for the rest.

The airline generated $762m profits, up 124 per cent over the previous fiscal year’s results.

The airline’s operating costs rose by 7 per cent due to the 15 per cent increase in the average jet fuel oil price, which also triggered fuel cost share of the total operating costs to rise from 25 per cent to 28 per cent, the airline said.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, Emirates chairman and CEO, cited healthy recovery in the global air cargo industry as well as the relative strengthening of key currencies against the US dollar despite “ongoing political instability, currency volatility in Africa, rising oil prices … and relentless competition”.

Al-Maktoum said the company invested $2.5bn in new aircraft, company acquisitions, new facilities, technologies and staff initiatives in the past fiscal year.

Emirates placed an order for 40 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners last November and for 36 new A380 aircraft in January.

Dnata acquired US-based AirLogistix in the past fiscal year and expanded its cargo handling capacity at London Gatwick, Amsterdam-Schiphol and Adelaide airports. It also invested in new catering facilities in Dublin and Melbourne and new lounges in Karachi and Melbourne.

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