COVID-19 NOT the Great Equalizer: An average growth of 4% in operator quarterly revenues conceals spectacular wins and losses from a mix of unusual and usual suspects

04 Oct 2020

A new report from Arab Advisors Group analysed the initial impact of COVID-19 on the financial performance of 27 telecom operators in MENA. Arab Advisors Group established comparison basis to determine the initial impact of COVID-19 on telecom operators and corresponding groups in the Arab World.

As MENA countries geared up for lockdowns, remote work and remote education, the increase in the consumption of telecom services was expected to reflect positively on the top lines of MENA operators across the board. Arab Advisors Group took a deep dive into the published financials of the region’s telecom operators and analyzed performance by country, region and operator group. Most notably, a few rising stars seem to have been head and shoulders above the others who have managed to actually grow the size of the telecom pie in their respective countries. Fayez Abu Awad, Chief Advisor to the Board at Arab Advisors Group noted that: “Exceptional above average performance was the natural outcome for well-prepared experienced telecom operators who have been working in countries with a lot of room for growth such as the Sudan.”

“While healthy revenue growth continues in MENA, institutional investors would be well advised to take note of who was slow to gear up and continues to underperform where others are succeeding. There is a confluence of major shifts that will continue to prop investments in MENA’s telecom sector just as there continue to be risks with which to reckon. However, the initial impact of COVID-19 has been a good litmus test to the agility of management teams across the board.” added Abu Awad.  

Arab Advisors Group released a new report "The initial impact of COVID-19 on telecom operators’ financials in Q1 2020". The report, which was released in August 2020, answers the following questions:

• How did COVID-19 affect the financial performance of 27 telecom operators in MENA?

• Which telecom operators are the largest in terms of revenues?

• Which telecom operators are the largest in terms of revenue growth percentages?

• How did COVID-19 impact telecom sectors’ performances in the Arab countries?

• Which Telecom Groups faced the largest change to their financial performance in Q1 2020 as a result of COVID-19?

Hiba Rabadi, Arab Advisors Group’s Deputy General Manager noted that “Arab Advisors Group calculated total telecom revenues by country for the first quarters of 2019 and 2020. Five Arab countries had an increase to their total telecom revenues in Q1 2020 when compared to their corresponding revenues in Q1 2019. In terms of geographical areas comparison, the GCC, North Africa and Nile Valley areas recorded a growth in revenues during the first three months of 2020.”

“Total revenues of 27 telecom operators increased by 3.9% during the first quarter of 2020 compared to their total revenues in Q1 2019. Growth in data, mobile services, and fixed broadband revenues are major causes for the increase in Telcos’ revenues during the first three months of 2020. More than half of the operators which reported a growth in revenues attributed it to the increase in data revenues as a result of higher data consumption among subscribers.” Omar Jaabari, Senior Research Analyst at Arab Advisors Group added.

Please contact Arab Advisors Group for more details or to get a copy of the report's Table of Contents. The report “The initial impact of COVID-19 on telecom operators’ financials in Q1 2020” was released to Arab Advisors Group’s subscribers and can be purchased individually for US$ 4,500.

The purchase of this report will count towards an annual Strategic Research Service subscription.

Arab Advisors Group’s team of analysts in the region produced over 5,500 reports on the Arab World’s communications, media and financial markets. The reports can be purchased individually or received through an annual subscription to Arab Advisors Group’s ( Strategic Research Services (Media and Telecom).

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