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.”
Fanfare in Masaka as MTN launches “MoMo Nyabo” promo
By Our Reporter
Business was brought to a standstill in Masaka town on Friday afternoon as MTN Uganda launched the second edition of the “MoMo Nyabo” campaign which is aimed at encouraging customers to transact using Mobile Money.
The campaign which was officially launched during a press briefing held at Brovad Hotel was marked by a flurry of fanfare, much to the excitement of the town dwellers.
The launch was followed by a procession around the town displaying the brand new Toyota Wish cars and motorbikes that will be given away during the campaign.
It culminated in a mega concert which was hosted at the Masaka Recreation grounds. Revelers were entertained by Uganda’s top artistes including Jose Chameleone and Bebe Cool among others.
During the concert, the first winners in this year’s MoMo Nyabo campaign were also announced. Kigundu Rashid and Steven Nanziga emerged the lucky winners and each walked away with a motorcycle.
Meanwhile, prizes worth Ugx 1.5billion will be won by lucky customers in the eight week campaign.The prizes include 24 cars, 32 Boda bodas, 160 smartphones as well as mobile money.
The MoMo Nyabo promotion is part of a series of offers the telecom company has launched in recent times to reward customers including bonus on data bundle purchase via MTN Mobile Money and a few days ago, MTN slashed mobile money sending rates by more than half.
“This will be a double win for our customers. First of all, they will be sending money at half price. While doing that, they will be entered into a draw to win one of those exciting prizes. So in a way, all our customers will be winners”. Samuel Gitta, MTN Uganda’s Ag. GM Risk & Compliance said.
“We are continually evolving to make our customers’ lives better. We value and appreciate our customers and all that we are doing is just to give back to them for continuing to support us,” he added.
For customers to stand a chance to win one of the prizes, all they have to do is dial *165*1#. Customers will then automatically enter into a draw to win the exciting prizes.
Vivo Energy in joint venture with Kuku Foods to accelerate roll-out of KFC restaurants
By Our Reporter
Vivo Energy plc (Vivo Energy), the pan-African retailer and distributor of Shell and Engen-branded fuels and lubricants, has agreed to form a non-fuel joint venture to accelerate the roll-out of KFC restaurants in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. The 50:50 joint venture will manage and operate the restaurants in the three markets on behalf of Kuku Foods East Africa Holdings (Kuku Foods), who will remain the local KFC franchisee. Completion of this transaction is subject to standard legal agreements and regulatory and competition authority approval.
The restaurants, 22 in Kenya and 8 in Uganda, are located in shopping malls, city centre locations, and service stations. Kuku Foods plans to open its first KFC restaurant in Rwanda in 2019.
The 5 KFC restaurants operated by Kuku Foods Tanzania, the KFC franchisee in Tanzania, will not form part of the transaction.
The joint venture will enable a significant increase in the number of KFC restaurants in the portfolio in the coming years. It is envisaged that many of the new restaurants will be opened at Vivo Energy’s network of service stations across Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, which leverages Vivo Energy’s retail footprint, with more countries to be considered in the future, based on market opportunities.
Commenting on the transaction, Christian Chammas, CEO of Vivo Energy, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Kuku Foods to replicate the KFC joint venture model we pioneered in Botswana and Côte d’Ivoire. Kuku Foods shares our ambition to invest in order to grow the number of restaurants and give more African customers access to the internationally renowned KFC brand. This partnership further demonstrates our ambition to continue to offer more convenience to satisfy the evolving needs of our growing number of African customers.”
Derrick Van Houten, Group CEO of Kuku Foods and Principal Operator of the KFC franchises, added: “Having launched our first KFC in East Africa in 2011, we have successfully grown the business over the last eight years. We are delighted to announce this new partnership with Vivo Energy to continue this growth, bringing our world-renowned KFC products and experience to as many customers as possible.”
KFC Africa’s General Manager, Tarun Lal concluded: “We are delighted that KFC can leverage the joint venture entered into between Vivo Energy and Kuku Foods to continue to grow its network of KFC restaurants in Africa. We are confident that the KFC franchisee will continue to provide customers with a great KFC experience, driving improvements in customer
service and quality through its relationship with Vivo Energy.”
Rising Woman initiative returns for second edition
By Our Reporter
Monitor Publications Limited’s (MPL) flagship brand Daily Monitor in partnership with dfcu Bank’s Women in Business Program and Uganda Investment Authority(UIA) have launched the second edition of the Rising Woman initiative.
The Rising Woman initiative which was started last year under the theme ‘Taking your business ahead’ is meant to recognize, celebrate and promote a culture of mentorship among women in business in Uganda and targets Ugandan business women, Small scale investors, Entrepreneurs, Members of Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited (UWEAL), Members of Uganda Small Scale Industries Association (USSIA) and Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) members.
Speaking at the launch, dfcu Chief Executive Officer Mathias Katamba called the initiative a “…fundamental step on the path to creating a financially-enabling environment for female entrepreneurs.”
He went on to note that the bank has created programs and products which specifically address the financial needs of women across the country. “As a financial institution that believes in building thriving communities, dfcu embarked on a journey to creating an enabling environment for Small and Medium Women owned Enterprises starting in 2007, with the introduction of the Women in Business program. Our primary motivation is the fact that despite women making up over 52% of the population of Uganda, it is not reflected in the ratio of women who have access to financial services.”
“Through the program, we work with women in diverse ventures to turn business ideas into realities which in turn become vehicles for change in communities. With over 53 years of lending to SMEs, and at least 10 years running the WiB program, dfcu Bank understands the financial needs of women and goes ahead to provide tailor-made solutions for them,” Katamba added.
He also officially announced the call for business proposals through the bank’s official website which will begin the contention for the top 10 business ideas.
The proposal submission is already underway and will run up to 20th September 2019. The top 3 winners will walk away with Ugx 15 million, Ugx 10 million and Ugx 5 million respectively and the top 10 will take part in an all-expense study tour trip to Nairobi.
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