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Emirates Group posts a profit of US$ 631 million in 2018-19 annual report

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Uganda has been through a lot in the last 34 Years. Find out here

By Our Reporter

The Emirates Group has today released its 2018-19 annual report. According to the report, the Emirates Group posted a profit of AED 2.3 billion (US$ 631 million) for the financial year ended 31 March 2019, down 44% from last year.

The Group’s revenue reached AED 109.3 billion (US$ 29.8 billion), an increase of 7% over last year’s results.

The Group’s cash balance was AED 22.2 billion (US$ 6.0 billion), down 13% from last year mainly due to large investments into the business, including significant acquisitions and payment of last year’s AED 2 billion (US$ 545 million) dividend.

In line with the overall profit, the Group declared a dividend of AED 500 million (US$ 136 million) to the Investment Corporation of Dubai for 2018-19.

His Highness (H.H.) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, said: “2018-19 has been tough, and our performance was not as strong as we would have liked. Higher oil prices and the strengthened US dollar eroded our earnings, even as competition intensified in our key markets. The uptick in global airfreight demand from the previous year appears to have gone into reverse gear, and we also saw travel demand weaken, particularly in our region, impacting both dnata and Emirates.

“Every business cycle is different, and we continue to work smart and hard to tackle the challenges and take advantage of opportunities. Our goal has always been to build a profitable, sustainable, and responsible business based in Dubai, and these principles continue to guide our decisions and investments. In 2018-19, Emirates and dnata delivered our 31st consecutive year of profit, recorded growth across the business, and invested in initiatives and infrastructure that will secure our future success.”

In 2018-19, the Group collectively invested AED 14.6 billion (US$ 3.9 billion) in new aircraft and equipment, the acquisition of companies, modern facilities, the latest technologies, and staff initiatives, a significant increase over last year’s investment spend of AED 9.0 billion (US$ 2.5 billion).

In February, Emirates announced a commitment for 40 A330-900s and 30 A350-900s worth US$ 21.4 billion at list prices in an agreement signed with Airbus, to be delivered from 2021 and 2024 respectively. The airline will also receive 14 more A380 deliveries from 2019 until the end of 2021, taking
its total A380 order book to 123 units.

dnata’s key investments during the year included: the acquisitions of Q Catering and Snap Fresh in Australia, and 121 Inflight Catering in the US; the buy-out of shares to become the owner of Dubai Express, Freightworks LLC; and a 51% majority stakeholder of Bolloré Logistics LLC, UAE; the build of new cargo and pharma handling facilities in Belgium, the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Australia, Singapore and Pakistan; the acquisition of German tour operator Tropo, and a majority stake in BD4travel, a company providing artificial intelligence driven IT solutions in the travel sector.

Across its more than 120 subsidiaries, the Group’s total workforce increased by 2% to 105,286, representing over 160 different nationalities, mainly influenced by dnata’s new acquisitions and its international business expansion.

Sheikh Ahmed said: “In 2018-19, we were steadfast with our cost discipline while expanding our business and growing revenues. By slowing the recruitment of non-operational roles, and implementing new technology systems and new work structures, we’ve improved productivity and retarded manpower cost increases.”

He concluded: “It’s hard to predict the year ahead, but both Emirates and dnata are well positioned to navigate speed bumps, as well as to compete and succeed in the global marketplace. We must continually up our game, that’s why we invest in our people, technology, and infrastructure to help us
maintain our competitive edge. As a responsible business, we also invest resources towards supporting communities, conservation and environmental initiatives, as well as incubating talent and innovation that will propel our industry in the future.”

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Local Business

Guinness Smooth officially launched in Uganda

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Uganda has been through a lot in the last 34 Years. Find out here

Guinness Smooth officially launched in Uganda

By Our Reporter

Uganda Breweries Limited introduced their new Guinness variant Guinness Smooth in a luxurious ceremony held at the Kampala Serena Hotel gardens on Saturday.

During the launch, the Guinness Global Master Brewer Peter Simpson who played a major role in the making of Guinness Smooth took the invited guests through the four Flavour Rooms that speak to the character of the new beer.

The rooms included the Bittersweet Room, the Bold Room, the Rich Room and the Refreshing Room where consumers were let in on the sight, flavour, feel and taste of the new beer.

They were taken through the perfect serve for a Guinness Smooth, tasting and appreciating the perfect balance of sweet (butterscotch and toffee flavours) and bitter, and also smelling the chocolatey-coffee aromas and rich notes from roasted barley.

Speaking to guests, Mr Simpson commended Ugandans’ love for the famous black liquid and couldn’t hide his excitement about people finally tasting a product that he has worked on with Ugandan brewers for a very long time.

“I cannot mention how proud I am that you all get to taste Guinness Smooth today. It is every brewer’s dream to see people taste his creation,” he said, before imploring guests to toast to Arthur Guinness who first brewed the world-renowned beer in 1759.

Sheebah entertains guests at the Guinness Smooth launch

Sheebah entertains guests at the Guinness Smooth launch.

UBL’s Marketing Director Juliana Kaggwa noted that people have different palates and Guinness Smooth is a variant that maintains the full-bodied character of Guinness, though with bitter-sweet undertones.

“Brands that don’t innovate don’t survive. 261 years and counting, this is the first innovation extension or variant of brand Guinness in Uganda. This right here is history in the making,” Juliana Kaggwa said at the event. “We are giving young vibrant millennials an opportunity to join the family of Guinness through a variant called Smooth. The brand is smooth and therefore easy on the tongue.”

The night was crowned with performances from Uganda’s very own soul star Maurice Kirya and Sheebah Karungi, before Deejay Mary Jo took over the turntables to keep the party going till late.

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Local Business

Western Union partners with Airtel to enable customers receive funds directly on Airtel money account

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Uganda has been through a lot in the last 34 Years. Find out here

An Airtel Uganda customer care advisor attends to a customer at the company's Premium shop at Forrest Mall

An Airtel Uganda customer care advisor attends to a customer at the company’s Premium shop at Forrest Mall.

By Our Reporter

Airtel Africa, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, and Western Union, a leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement and payments, have announced a strategic agreement to offer Western Union’s cross-border capability via the Airtel Money wallet, enabling customers to move money in real-time across 14 countries in Africa.

The collaboration with Airtel Africa will enable more than 15 million Airtel Money mobile wallet users in Nigeria, Uganda, Gabon, Tanzania, Zambia, DRC, Malawi, Madagascar, Kenya, Congo, Niger, Tchad, Rwanda and Seychelles to simply route any money transfer received from across the world into their wallets. The service will allow users to send and receive Western Union Money Transfer transactions using their Airtel Money accounts. They can also use the funds to pay bills and merchants, top-up airtime and send money domestically and internationally. Service launch is expected in the course of 2020.

Global senders will also be able to direct international money transfers to Airtel Money mobile wallets using Western Union’s digital services in 75 countries plus territories, or the walk-in agent network across more than 200 countries and territories.

“Western Union’s unique ability to partner with a growing base of tech leaders is helping Africa to connect to the global financial system and enables African companies like Airtel to pursue their global ambitions. It also drives financial inclusion and improve last mile access for millions of unbanked Africans to financial services,” said Western Union President and CEO, Hikmet Ersek.

“Sub-Saharan Africa is leading the way globally in mobile money and digital technology and is allowing the continent to leapfrog traditional barriers to development and accelerate economic growth. We are delighted to be part of this success story by leveraging our inclusive omnichannel approach and core assets – including global settlement capabilities, network, compliance and technology systems – to enable international cross border money transfers and payments,” Ersek said.

Raghunath Mandava, CEO of Airtel Africa, said, “We are very excited to partner with Western Union to offer Airtel Money customers better access to one of the world’s largest money transfer organisations. International remittances into Africa are a lifeline to some of our customers. This partnership will give our customers the convenience and security of directly receiving and sending remittances from their Airtel mobile money wallets. They will now be automatically credited and debited via their Airtel mobile money wallets on their phone and can immediately access the funds to pay bills or merchants and transfer funds to family and friends or convert to cash from the widespread Airtel Money agents, kiosks and branches.”

This tie up with Western Union adds to other tie ups that Airtel Africa has already put in place to help customers get inflows from across the world.

Sub-Saharan Africa is a home to the world’s largest free trade area and a 1.2 billion-person market, the continent is poised to create an entirely new development path harnessing the potential of its resources and people, according to the World Bank 1 . GSMA 2 project that in 2025, there will be nearly 6 billion unique subscribers, 5 billion mobile internet users and adoption of smartphones will reach nearly 80%.

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Local Business

dfcu Bank flags off women entrepreneurs to Kenya for study excursion

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Uganda has been through a lot in the last 34 Years. Find out here

Belinda Namutebi, Council Member of dfcu Bank's Women Advisory Council flags off the women winners.

Belinda Namutebi, Council Member of dfcu Bank’s Women Advisory Council flags off the women winners.

By Our Reporter

dfcu Bank in partnership with Monitor Publications Limited’s (MPL) flagship brand Daily Monitor and Uganda Investment Authority have flagged off the winners of ‘Rising Woman’ Season Two Initiative to an all-paid study excursion in Nairobi, Kenya. The trip is expected to enhance their understanding of their various businesses and expose them to best practices.

As part of the Bank’s commitment to support local women entrepreneurs and offer the best finance options for investment, dfcu Bank through its Women in Business Program (WiB) started ‘Rising Woman’ and collaborated with different partners to empower and accelerate the participation of women entrepreneurs in the business arena.

Since its inception over 35,000 women have benefited from capacity building sessions organized by the Bank in partnership with different stakeholders.

The 6-month nationwide Rising Woman campaign under the theme ‘Taking your Business forward’ attracted over 1,000 women entrepreneurs in the two-day business training sessions enlightening them on business matters such as; taxation, record-keeping, investment licenses, the importance of business registration and marketing. This was in addition to a two-day expo which provided women-headed businesses with a platform to showcase their products, services and share knowledge with other entrepreneurs which climaxed the campaign.

The trainings run alongside a proposal writing competition that saw 13 women entrepreneurs emerge victorious during the awards dinner at Hotel Africana. One delegate was chosen from the top ten winners of the proposal writing competition to represent their businesses in Nairobi.

The following women entrepreneurial groups emerged victorious in the competition; Western Silk, My Passion, Haziel Agencies, Living Love Ministries, Val Media Consultancy, AWA Foods, Sceck Consults, Aw Bamboo Enterprises Limited, Finem (U) Limited, Wegner Investment Limited.

Belinda Namutebi, Council Member of dfcu Bank’s Women Advisory Council officiated at the flag-off; congratulating the entrepreneurs and urging them to take advantage of the study tour and the benefits of the Bank’s tailor-made financial solutions for women.

One of the women entrepreneurs, Betty Mbaziira Kasabiiti, of Awa Foods, a dairy products processing company, was ecstatic about her latest achievements as a result of being part of the programme.

“I am grateful for the opportunity that dfcu Bank has given me to broaden my knowledge. Through the Rising Woman programme, I have managed to learn, increase my sales, advertise my products and gain more clients. Kenya is very big in the dairy sector in the region and I look forward to learning more from this trip,” Kasabiiti remarked.

“I am not a dfcu Bank customer, but I got to know about the programme through the media and I joined. I have been able to learn a lot on how to run my consultancy and be able to help other beneficiaries. Right now, we are focusing on earning through tourism and I hope that during this trip, I get to learn more about how to generate potential tourism revenues as well as tap into the Kenyan market through the connections we shall make,” said Kazoora Charlotte Mucunguzi another winner, with Sceck Consults, who specialize in youth and women economic empowerment trainings through financial advisory services.

This brings to twenty the number of women led businesses that have benefited from the skills building study rips conducted in 2019 and 2020.

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