Dubai: Emirates Group, which owns Emirates airline and travel agency dnata, reported on Thursday a 31.6 per cent increase in profit Dh4.1 billion ($1.1 billion) for the financial year ending March 31 2014.

It is the 26th consecutive profitable year for the group.

Revenue at the group rose by 13.2 per cent to Dh87.8 billion, up from the previous years Dh77.5 billion. The group will add to Dh1 billion to Dubai government’s coffers with a dividend to its shareholder, the Investment Corporation of Dubai.

Cash assets dropped 29.6 per cent to Dh19 billion. However, it invested a record Dh22 billion across its portfolio up until March 31.

Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of Dubai Civil Aviation and chairman and chief executive of Emirates airline and Emirates Group, said on Thursday that the investment was primarily used in new fleet orders and the group was in a comfortable position to continue with expansion plans.

Emirates airline reported Dh3.3 billion profit, a 42.5 per cent increase on the Dh2.3 billion in the previous year. It carried 5 million more passengers this year with 44.5 million flying with the Middle East’s largest airline.

John Strickland, aviation analyst and Director of JLS Consulting, stated that Emirates’ “critics often forget that this is an airline with an almost 30-year history, its performance is no overnight sensation.”

He added, “To absorb more new capacity than many airlines have in their entire fleets, whilst facing increased competition and yet still deliver high load factors and increased profitability attests to the strength of the business model.”

Overall capacity measured in available tonne kilometres (ATKMs) increased by 5.9 billion tonne kilometres.

The airline division launched nine new destinations; Boston, Clark, Conakry, Haneda, Kanul, Kiev, Sialkot, Stockholm and Taipei.

However, the airline pulled out of Clark in the Philippines less than a year into operations amid stiff competition and tough economic conditions. Shaikh Ahmad said there are no plans to launch to any new destinations in the Philippines.

Emirates airline has also had a rough start to the Kiev route, launching amid increasing instability as prospects of civil war loom in Ukraine. Earlier this week at the Arabian Travel Market, Thierry Antinori, chief commercial officer at the airline, said the route was launched at the wrong time and is performing below expectations.

Emirates’ Destination and Leisure Management, which includes hotels such as the JW Mariott Marquis in Dubai, recorded Dh623 million in revenue, an increase of 35 per cent over the last year. This is the first full year of operation of the JW Marriot property in Business Bay. Emirates said the hotel’s second tower will be fully operational later this year.

Emirates SkyCargo reported Dh11.3 billion in revenue ($3.1 billion), a 9 per cent increase, and contributed 15 per cent of the airlines total transport revenue. Emirates said that SkyCargo “continues to plan an integral role in the company’s expanding operations.”

Revenue at dnata, which includes ground handling and airport services at 75 airports across 35 countries, rose to Dh7.6 billion, a 14 per cent increase on the Dh6.6 billion declared the previous year. Profits saw a slight increase of 1.2 per cent to Dh829 million.

Nearly 12,000 employees were added to the group, representing an increase of 11.2 per cent.