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S4 Capital reports strong growth as buying spree continues

11 Sep 2019  |  David Pidgeon 
S4 Capital reports strong growth as buying spree continues

S4 Capital, Sir Martin Sorrell's new venture, has reported a 39% leap in billings in the six months ending June 30.

Billings issued by the rapidly growing marketing business - which continues to make acquisitions as it seeks scale - reached £184.23m with full year billings for 2018 standing at £59m.

Although S4 made a pre-tax loss of £8.7m in the first half of the year, by adjusting its results to compensate for acquisitions and one-off costs, it reported a pre-tax profit of £6.5m.

Recent acquisitions include Caramel Pictures in Amsterdam, a robotic food and drink studio, which produces video content for brand clients; Prog Media, a Latin American digital media planning and buying company; and IMA, an Amsterdam based influencer marketing company.

S4's clients now include Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, Coca-Cola, Vodafone NZ, and Lavazza, while staff headcount has grown 60 per cent to 1,375 people.

The growth is extraordinarily fast, with Sir Martin Sorrell only having founded the venture in May 2018, shortly after departing WPP, the holding company he founded more than three decades previously.

“These results confirm the power and relevance of the faster, better, cheaper, digital only unitary advertising model, with first party data fuelling content and programmatic," said Sir Martin.

"Now the task is to build significant scale organically, by broadening and deepening existing and new client relationships and adding resources through merger and acquisition."

Sorrell added that S4 was increasingly being included in a major industry reviews and expected to organically double its size by 2021.

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