Operators in the Gulf region should build on their investments and initiatives to support their customers during the COVID-19 crisis, protect themselves and create new revenue growth opportunities.
Etisalat, Ooredoo and Zain faced a demographic and economic slowdown as well as increased home-market competition in 2019, which resulted in stable or slightly lower revenue compared to that in 2018. However, most of their international operations performed well despite challenging economic conditions and weak foreign exchange rates, and this helped to boost group revenue. Omantel and STC were the only operators in the Gulf region whose domestic-only revenue increased slightly in 2019.
This comment examines the 2019 financial performance of the five groups mentioned above and discusses their revenue growth strategies as they prepare for a more challenging year ahead because of the coronavirus outbreak.