Last year was tough for OHI as increased competition in Oman’s projects sector and a delay in contract awards contributed to its revenue declining to RO113.9m, from RO127.4m in 2010. As a result, net profit for the year fell 18.7 per cent, from RO7.5m in 2010 to RO6.1m in 2011.

However, 2012 promises to be a little more fruitful year for the sultanate’s major companies, with the government increasing planned expenditure in the budget by 12 per cent on last year. As a result of the civil unrest and political protests in early 2011, much of Muscat’s budgeted spending is targeted at infrastructure projects and job creation.

With a diverse portfolio of companies, OHI is well placed to take advantage of this increased spending. But with delays still happening the market, it will be another challenging year, although OHI expects to post reasonable results.

With major partnerships in the energy sector, OHI should benefit from the sultanate’s ambitious energy and industrial expansion plans. Whether through major oil projects for PDO or industrial contracts in the proposed free zones, the group’s various subsidiaries should be included in some interesting projects in the coming years.

Douglas OHI will have plentiful chances to bid for transport and other infrastructure schemes in Oman. Under the current five-year development plan, Muscat plans to spend RO2.5bn on nine new hospitals and RO5.9bn building more than 100 schools. The government has also pledged to push ahead with $15bn-worth of transport infrastructure projects in the next five years.

If Muscat is able to move its ambitious development plans forward and award work, as a diverse organisation, OHI will be well placed to benefit and record strong growth.