The Emirates Group has announced its half-year results for 2016-17, saying, while revenue was steady, profit was hit by the double impact of a strong US dollar and challenging operating environment for the airline and travel business.

In a statement, the Emirates Group said its revenue was US$ 12.7 billion for the first six months of its 2016-17 financial year, up 1% from US$ 12.5 billion during the same period last year.

It said following one of its best ever half-year profit performances last year, the Group for 2016-17 reported a half-year net profit of US$ 364 million, down 64%, adding that, the Group's cash position on 30th September 2016 was at US$ 4.1 billion, compared to US$ 6.4 billion as at 31st March 2016.

The release said this was due to ongoing investments mainly into new aircraft, airline related infrastructure projects, business acquisitions, and the repayments of bonds totalling US$ 1.1 billion, loans and lease liabilities.

'Our performance for the first half of the 2016-17 financial year continues to be impacted by the strong US dollar against other major currencies,' it quoted Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group.

'Increased competition, as well as the sustained economic and political uncertainty in many parts of the world has added downward pressure on prices as well as dampened travel demand.'

The release said during the first six months of the financial year, Emirates received 16 wide-body aircraft - eight Airbus A380s, and eight Boeing 777s, with 20 more new aircraft, scheduled to be delivered before the end of the financial year.

It said the airline also retired 19 older aircrafts from its fleet with an additional eight to be returned by 31 March 2017.

Emirates expanded its global route network by launching passenger services to four new destinations, which are Yinchuan, Zhengzhou, Yangon, and Hanoi, it said, adding that as of 30 September, Emirates' global network spanned 155 destinations in 82 countries, with Fort Lauderdale to come online on 15 December 2016.

'Operating the world's largest fleet of A380s and the largest fleet of Boeing 777s, Emirates continues to provide ever better connections for its customers across the globe with just one stop in Dubai,' the release said.

It said dnata's revenue, including other operating income, was US$ 1.6 billion, a robust 14% increase compared to US$ 1.4 billion last year.

It said, 'This solid performance' was underpinned by the consolidation of dnata's recent acquisitions in its ground handling businesses in Europe and Americas.

'Overall profit for dnata was down slightly by 1% to US$ 150 million, mainly due to the impact of the strong US dollar on currency repatriation from its international businesses, and also due to start-up investment costs in some of its new acquisitions.'

It said dnata's airport operations remained the largest contributor to revenue with (US$ 843 million, a 31% increase compared to the same period last year, adding that across its operations, the number of aircraft handled by dnata increased significantly by 75% to 297,721, and it handled 1.2 million tonnes of cargo, up 28%, reflecting the new businesses acquired, as well as an increase in traffic at Dubai International airport over the same period last year.

It added that the number of meals uplifted was at 34.2 million for the first half of the financial year, up 5% compared to last year's figure of 32.7 million.