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Martin Sorrell's S4 Capital sees sales boom despite the pandemic

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 4/05/2021 Camilla Canocchi for
Martin Sorrell wearing a suit and tie: MailOnline logo © Provided by This Is Money MailOnline logo

Martin Sorrell's advertising agency S4 Capital saw sales boom in the first quarter as digital marketing expenditure by companies remained 'robust' and it took on more work from both existing and new clients. 

The group said revenues rose 71 per cent in the first three months of the year, with like-for-like sales up 35 per cent to £122million. 

Sorrell, who is in a tussle with his former WPP empire, said they were 'extremely optimistic' about this year and the next and upped its revenues outlook.

Martin Sorrell wearing a suit and tie: ( © Provided by This Is Money (

It said it expects full-year revenues to rise 30 per cent, from its previous forecast of 25 per cent growth. 

S4 Capital said new business activity has been 'frenetic', with the company bagging new work with some of its existing big clients like Google, Facebook, Amazon, AB Inbev and Netflix. 

It also won new business with the likes of fashion label Diesel, German bank N26, car maker McLaren, insurer Allianz and shoe maker Crocs, among the others.  

'We are extremely optimistic about our prospects for this year and next, given the huge global fiscal and monetary stimulus introduced to counter the impact of the pandemic and the subsequent increase in consumer savings ratios and stagnation of corporate capital investment,' Sorell said.

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He also warned that the rebound may falter when countries bring in austerity measures to cut debt built up during the pandemic, but the group still expects digital advertising to grow 20 per cent a year due to the shift online driven by the pandemic. 

'The chickens may well come home to roost in 2023, given the debt burden that most countries will have and the tax increases that will have to be implemented,' he added.

'But, digital marketing expenditure remains robust, even in a recession, as our results last year demonstrate, given its secular growth trend.' 

chart, histogram: ( © Provided by This Is Money (

Shares in S4 Capital, which have risen by more than 400 per cent since Sorrell launched the company in September 2018, rose by 2 per cent to 570.57p today. 

In comparison, WPP shares have fallen by over 20 per cent over the same period since Sorrell left the company.

It comes as the tussle between Sorrell and WPP has reached fever pitch, with the ad firm blocking some of his share options over media leaks.     

S4 Capital enjoyed solid growth across all regions in the first quarter, with like-for-like revenues up 30 per cent in the Americas, 44 per cent ahead across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and 34 per cent higher in Asia Pacific.

The group separately announced that its MightyHive digital media services arm has agreed to merge with Brazil's Raccoon Group for an undisclosed sum, in a move that will boost its presence in Latin America. 

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