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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) The Dubai-based Emirates airline says its annual net profit rose by 52 percent as the carrier's fast growth outpaced rising fuel costs.

Emirates said Thursday that the airline posted $622 million in net profit in the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

The Emirates Group, which includes a travel services division, reported a 34 percent jump in net profit to $845 million.

Emirates is locked in fierce competition with rival Gulf carriers Qatar Airways and Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways. All three are aggressively expanding routes and fleets. Emirates this year began a partnership with Australia's Qantas that seeks to further boost Dubai's position as a transcontinental hub.

Emirates says its passenger count rose 16 percent. The growth countered fuel costs, up 15 percent to $7.6 billion compared with the previous fiscal year.