American Express Middle East announced today its corporate vision for 2011. The company, which has been based in the Middle East since 1979 and covers 18 markets, expects to see solid growth this year in its Consumer and Corporate businesses, following a successful 2010 with a double digit growth.
Looking back on 2010, American Express Middle East announced a strong set of results, characterised by steady performance and profitability. New card accounts, a key performance indicator in the payments industry, increased by 16 per cent year-on-year.
American Express has the highest spending Cardmembers of any major payment network, and 2010 proved no different. Year-on-year Customer spend increased by 13%, and Corporate spend by 30% in 2010.
William Keliehor, Chief Executive Officer, American Express Middle East, said: “Despite tough economic conditions, I am pleased to say that American Express Middle East and North Africa performed strongly in 2010. The fact that our Cardmembers increased their spending, given the prevailing market conditions, is a great example of the value that we are able to bring to our merchant partners. This spending was in part driven by our rewards programmes which give Cardmembers much flexibility and a wide range of additional benefits from their purchases.”
Looking ahead to 2011, American Express Middle East expects responsible lending to be a key trend for the payments industry, as financial institutions and individuals alike remain cautious. The “return of the business traveler” is also anticipated, as the corporate travel sector recovers from the effects of the global economic slowdown. American Express Middle East also expects to see the continued strength of the premium customer, with spending projected to grow strongly in 2011.
Keliehor said: “2011 will see the financial services sector in the Middle East begin to return to normal. We expect to see growth in both the Consumer and Corporate sides of our business. Customer demands, however, have changed. Financial services that are fulfilled in a safe, trusted and responsible way will be the paradigm of 2011. As our Cards are not mass-market in nature, and we have strict risk management policies to ensure we focus on financially responsible customers, American Express Middle East is ideally placed for growth in 2011.”