The OECD has analysed the financial performance of 179 telecoms operators (including all of those with a market capitalisation of over $1 billion) and from this gleaned some interesting stats:

  • Dataset – 179 operators from 55 countries, market capitalisation of USD3 trillion, employ 5.1 million people
  • Profit margins are stable
  • Investment is strongly linked to sales and is in the range 15-17% of sales. The more revenues increase, the more investment increases. The average capex over the last 15 years has been 15.5%
  • Incumbents are maintaining a strong position – they invest more and deliver higher EBIT margins and ROIC levels
  • Total revenue for the operators studied was USD1.94 trillion in 2017, up 3.2% from USD1.88 trillion in 2016
  • EBITDA was 30.9% in 2017, compared to 30.5% in 2016 (up 0.4%). However it is still lower than it was in 2007
  • Cable & satellite operators have consistently delivered higher EBIT margins compared to telecoms firms between 2010 and 2016, however they were aligned in 2017.

Posted by Teresa Cottam

Teresa is the Chief Analyst at Omnisperience and has over 25 years' experience in the telecoms and technology markets. She is an expert on SME and enterprise telecoms, and has considerable vertical market expertise. Her research focus lies in helping B2B telecoms firms become more commercially successful by better understanding and meeting their customers' needs. She is a judge of the GSMA Global Mobile Awards (GloMo's) for customer experience and enterprise innovation, and for the UK Cloud awards. You can follow her on Twitter @teresacottam

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