Resilient GCC Firms Optimistic about 2010

Resilient GCC Firms Optimistic about 2010

Most of the Gulf businesses expect to meet their revenue targets for 2009, despite the tough economic situation due to the global economic downturn.

By Abdul Basit

Published: Thu 24 Dec 2009, 9:08 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:50 AM

Mercer, the global HR consulting firm, revealed that corporate resilience throughout 2009 has set the scene for an aggressive economic rebound in the year ahead.

The survey shows that a clear majority, over 65 per cent of respondents, expecting to meet or exceed their revenue targets for 2009. A similar number, i.e. 68.9 per cent, say they are setting higher revenue targets for 2010.

“The predictions of a positive end to the year and an optimistic outlook for 2010 are backed up by what we heard during a mid-year business sentiment survey, and what we hear every day from our clients,” said Bassam Gazal, head of Mercer’s Information Products Solutions practice for the Middle East.

Companies’ hiring intentions also appear positive, with a majority as a 56.4 per cent planning increases in their workforce in the coming year. Of these, one in five firms indicated they would be lifting their workforce numbers by at least 20 per cent.

The survey also reveals that contrary to expectations, 40 per cent of firms did not reduce headcount at all during 2009. Of those that did, a substantial majority indicated the reduction was less than 10 per cent.

Most firms surveyed, over 87 per cent, said they have no plans to reduce headcount in 2010.

Bucking the global trend, two-thirds of firms surveyed stated they had granted pay rises during the year.

On 2010 plans, nearly half the respondents indicated they would be providing base salary increases, while 45.6 per cent were still to decide.

Gazal said the fact that 67.9 per cent of firms said HR would play a more important business and strategic role in future was a sign of a significant trend in the GCC market.

“It’s now abundantly clear that companies are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of the people side of their business, and the strategic role that HR can play in business planning,” Gazal said.

More news from Business