Abu Dhabi Aviation, a commercial helicopter operator, on Sunday announced a net profit of Dh244.7 million for 2014, marking a rise from its 2013 figures of Dh223.7 million. However, revenues fell slightly to Dh1.61 billion — down from roughly Dh1.64 billion the previous year.
The rise in net profit, despite a drop in revenue, is attributed to a drop in operating costs to Dh1.19 billion — an improvement from the Dh1.2 billion in the previous year.
The company's results mark a year of profitability after its losses in 2013 whereby profits fell 15 per cent on the back of a slowdown in business by Maximum Air, which made a Dh215 million loss in 2013. Abu Dhabi Aviation owns a 95 per cent stake in Maximum, an air cargo transport company.
In its annual general meeting, Abu Dhabi Aviation also announced a 12 per cent dividend.
Ashraf Fahmy, chief financial officer at Abu Dhabi Aviation, said that the company achieved its 2014 profits by turning Maximum to profitability through selling the aircrafts behind the loss.
"We sold five Airbus A300 aircraft, which brought losses because they were competing with major airlines. We also focused on restricting the company to be light and [having] an efficient organisational structure, and we reduced operational costs,” he told Gulf News. "We also became more and more efficient in terms of salaries and in terms of acquiring discounts.”
Asked about his outlook for 2015, the CFO said that it would be a tougher year considering lower oil prices. Though Abu Dhabi Aviation passes oil costs to its customers, Fahmy said there was a general slowdown in other businesses including oil companies that are clients at the company.
"Explorations and other contracts by oil companies are on hold, so this affects us indirectly. Hopefully, though, we will continue to diversify and we will start reaping benefits from our partnerships and expand through them,” Fahmy said.
During the meeting, the chairman, Nader Al Hammadi, said the company will focus on growth and generating more profit through its training centre rather than by expanding its aircraft fleet.