The Emirates Group announced its half-year results for its 2020-21 financial year.
Group revenue was AED 13.7 billion (US$ 3.7 billion) for the first six months of 2020-21, down 74% from AED 53.3 billion (US$ 14.5 billion) during the same period last year. This dramatic revenue decline was due to the COVID-19 pandemic which brought global air passenger travel to a halt for many weeks as countries closed their borders and imposed travel restrictions. As part of pandemic containment measures, Emirates and dnata’s hub in Dubai also suspended scheduled passenger flights for 8 weeks during April and May.
The Group is reporting a 2020-21 half-year net loss of AED 14.1 billion (US$ 3.8 billion).
The Group’s cash position on 30 September 2020 stood at AED 20.7 billion (US$ 5.6 billion), compared to AED 25.6 billion (US$ 7.0 billion) as at 31 March 2020.
His Highness (HH) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group said: “We began our current financial year amid a global lockdown when air passenger traffic was at a literal standstill. In this unprecedented situation for the aviation and travel industry, the Emirates Group recorded a half-year loss for the first time in over 30 years.
“As passenger traffic disappeared, Emirates and dnata have been able to rapidly pivot to serve cargo demand and other pockets of opportunity. This has helped us recover our revenues from zero to 26% of our position same time last year.
“The Emirates Group’s resilience in the face of current headwinds is testimony to the strength of our business model, and our years of continued investment in skills, technology and infrastructure which are now paying off in terms of cost and operational efficiency. Emirates and dnata have also built strong brands and agile digital capabilities which continue to serve us well, and enabled us to respond adeptly to the accelerated shift of customer and business activities online over the past 6 months.”
Sheikh Ahmed added: “We would like to thank our customers for their continued support, and express our appreciation for the combined stakeholder efforts that have made it possible for Dubai to resume aviation and other economic activity so quickly and safely. No one can predict the future, but we expect a steep recovery in travel demand once a COVID-19 vaccine is available, and we are readying ourselves to serve that rebound. In the meantime, Emirates and dnata remain responsive in deploying resources to serve our customers and meet demand.
“We have been able to tap on our own strong cash reserves, and through our shareholder and the broader financial community, we continue to ensure we have access to sufficient funding to sustain the business and see us through this challenging period. In the first half of 2020-21, our shareholder injected US$ 2 billion into Emirates by way of an equity investment and they will support us on our recovery path.”
The Emirates Group’s employee base, compared to 31 March 2020, is substantially reduced by 24% to an overall count of 81,334 as at 30 September 2020. This is in line with the company’s expected capacity and business activities in the foreseeable future and general industry outlook. Emirates and dnata continue to look at every means to protect its skilled workforce, including participating in job saver programmes where these exist.
DFCC Bank facilitates the continued growth of Sri Lankan SMEs amidst the COVID-19 pandemic
The unprecedented surfacing of the COVID-19 pandemic has left a lasting scar on the global population and economy. With no precise warning on the horizon, businesses everywhere were thrown into the deep end, and survival seemed uncertain during the peak of the pandemic. In Sri Lanka, a nation where SMEs form the integral backbone of the economy, the ill effects have been taking a heavy toll on businesses both fiscally and mentally.
However, we as Sri Lankans are resilient at our core, and with the integral support of frontline workers, officials, and essential services such as our banking partners, we set forth on a journey to assess, adapt and survive. One such story about perseverance through a valuable relationship comes from K.S.K. Menan of Star Food Store (Pvt) Ltd, and his trusted banking partner, DFCC Bank.
Emerging from humble beginnings, Menan’s story is one that inspires patriotism, and reaffirms the importance of giving back to your motherland. As a self-made entrepreneur, Menan was successfully engaged with the departmental store industry in the United Kingdom, when one day, he decided to leave everything there and come back to his home, Sri Lanka. He was on a mission to give back to the country that had given him so much, and that led to the birth of ‘Star Food Store’ in Kokkuvil, a supermarket equipped with all the necessary household essentials. DFCC Bank had been by his side throughout the entire journey until the opening of his outlet, and even more when the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
“When Imoved back to Sri Lanka in 2016, the very first account I opened was with DFCC Bank, and with their support, I was able to open the first‘Star Food Store’ in November 2019. However, when COVID-19 struck, everything came to halt. When restrictions were relaxed, I faced multiple problems with bringing things back to how they were. DFCC Bank stepped in and gave me overdraft facilities, helped clear my cheques, and provided additional funds at a low interest rate”.
Today, Menan has been able to open a second Star Food Store outlet at Achchuveli in August 2020, and a third at Idaikkadu in February 2021. He states that expansion is the last thing most businesses consider during this turbulent time, however, the X factor that has allowed him to do this is his banking partner.
“The confidence an entrepreneur gains with the right banking partner is immeasurable, and I have been able to find that with DFCC Bank. They have always gone out of the way to ensure my venture’s continuity, from sending someone from the branch immediately if there is an issue with the card machine during business hours, or even understanding that loose change is important for a supermarket and sending bags of coins from the Colombo branch for business use. I now have plans of constructing a state-of-the-art shopping complex in Jaffna, and look forward to working with DFCC on this project”.
Covid-19 third wave fears dampen stock market
By Hiran H.Senewiratne
The CSE witnessed a steep decline following worries over the possible outbreak of a Covid 19 third wave in the country and the continuation of selling pressure for certain stocks in the market, stock market analysts said.
CSE investors worried over 52 new cases being detected in two retail stores at Pamunuwa and at a state bank in Colombo at the end of the April holidays. Sri Lanka’s Health Ministry warned of a possible surge in COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks, market analysts said.
Consequently, the All Share Price Index declined by 2.9 percent and S and P SL20 dropped by three percent. Major companies sought after by investors negatively contributed to both indices during the day. According to market analysts, these companies were: LOLC (27 negative points), Expolanka (19 negative points), Vallibel One (12 negative points), Hayleys (11 negative points) and JKH (10 negative points).
All Share Price Index went down by 198.39 points and S and P SL20 down by 93.89 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 3.7 billion with a single crossing. The crossing was reported in Ceylon Cold Stores (CIS), which crossed 60000 shares to the tune of Rs. 35.4 million, its shares traded at Rs. 594.
In the retail market, five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were: Browns Investments Rs. 717.6 million (114 million shares traded), Expolanka Rs. 480 million (9.8 million shares traded), Hayleys Rs. 392 million (five million shares traded), Dipped Products Rs. 389 million (6.9 million shares traded) and LOLC Rs. 193 million (587,000 shares traded). During the day 197 million share volumes changed hands in 31305 transactions.
Sri Lanka rupee quoted firmer around 192/194 levels to the US dollar in the spot market on Tuesday, while bond yields slightly eased, dealers said. Sri Lanka rupee last closed at 194/198 levels to the US dollar in the spot market on Monday. The Central Banks Telegraph Transfer rates stand at 187.93/191.97 levels below the spot rates on Monday.
Sri Lanka’s rupee has come under pressure amid money printing and low-interest rates, despite the worst import controls since the 1970s, observers said.
SAT launches F5 portfolio to deliver secure digital experiences
(At left) : Edgar Dias, Regional Vice President of Channels and Partnerships, Asia Pacific, F5. (At right) : Sanjaya Padmaperuma, CEO of SAT.
South Asian Technologies (Pvt) Ltd, announces its appointment to be a distributor for F5 within Sri Lanka and Maldives to deliver secure digital experience to enterprises.
The cutting-edge technology is a portal for delivering applications and data with greater agility, security, availability, performance, and scalability.
F5’s portfolio of automation, security, performance, and insight capabilities empowers customers to create, secure, and operate adaptive applications that reduce costs, improve operations, and better protect users.
“With the increasing necessity for digitalisation in the workspace, now more than ever, organisations need proven solutions to help secure their businesses. Adding F5 to our existing portfolio gives South Asian Technologies, a more omniscient opportunity to equip our partners and customers with best-in-class application security and delivery solutions. As F5 enables adaptive applications, the SAT team is ecstatic at the prospect of securing our clientele with robust security offerings that have a proven history with Fortune 500 companies across the globe,” said Sanjaya Padmaperuma, CEO of SAT.
Every company today is in the digital experience business. In the wake of COVID-19, customer expectations are higher than ever, as the experiences garnered are the primary way that people interact and transact with just about every organisation at present.
F5 helps organisations deliver and secure the premium digital facilities that customers demand by enabling adaptive applications which, like living organisms, will naturally adapt based on their environment – growing, shrinking, defending, and healing themselves.
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