In the early expansion of the United States, economic growth and untapped opportunity lay in the unexplored West. But for the world's largest wireless services provider, Motley Fool Inside Value pick Vodafone
The global mobile services provider announced revenue growth of 6% overall, to $61.6 billion. While the company reported a pre-tax loss of $4.7 billion, largely because of impairment charges, the adjusted profit for the year came to $12.3 billion. Thanks to a massive base of 206 million subscribers, free cash flow came in at $12.1 billion.
When dissecting the past year's growth by region, Vodafone's future destination becomes clear. Organic revenue growth from European operations was only 1.4%, while emerging markets including Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia grew 14.9%. Few "Western" markets bucked this trend; one was Vodafone's joint venture with Verizon Communications
Accordingly, Vodafone's future growth prospects hinge on merging and emerging -- merging in new operations from emerging markets. The company made great strides in integrating operations from Turkish provider Telsim, which it acquired in May 2006. It hopes to achieve similar success with the recent acquisition of Hutchison Essar in India. Vodafone is banking on growth from areas where emerging-market providers such as Mexico's America Movil
Focusing on emerging markets will help prop up results from the highly competitive markets in which Vodafone is struggling, particularly Germany and Italy. Like fellow European wireless providers Deutsche Telekom
Threats of mature markets and competition aside, Vodafone is confident in future growth coming from new regions -- confident enough, in fact, to raise its dividend by 11%. With the growing contributions of emerging eastern markets, the company's strategy is starting to pay off for shareholders.
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Fool contributor Dave Mock grew up in the West and somehow doesn't see it as very mature. France Telecom is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. Dave is the author ofThe Qualcomm Equation. The Fool has a disclosure policy.