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S4 Results Finally Published after 'Embarrassing' Wait

May 9 2022

After multiple delays, Sir Martin Sorrell's S4Capital has at last published its full year results for 2021, showing revenue up 100.4% to £686.6m, equivalent to a 52.4% increase on a like-for-like basis. Operating EBITDA increased 62.4% to £101.0m (up 11.9% like-for-like).

Sir Martin SorrellS4 was set up by Sorrell (pictured) in 2018, just six weeks after he departed WPP. The business has since made a number of acquisitions, including Santa Cruz, CA-based developer and data analytics firm 4 Mile Analytics; London-based analytics and measurement provider Brightblue Consulting; and Australian digital strategy and analytics consultancy Lens10.

Friday's unaudited 2021 preliminary results show big increases in headline figures, versus those for 2020-21 - partly from organic growth and partly the continuing acquisition spree. While gross profit increased 89.8% to £560.3m, the company saw a pre-tax loss of £56.7m after incurring £136.9m in charges relating to acquisitions, amortisation and share-based payments.

Sorrell has set a target known as 202: twenty clients each generating revenues of over $20 million per annum, over the period 2022-24, and says S4 now has six such 'whoppers' well established, 'and a further nineteen clients identified as 'whoppertunities''.

Last month, shares in S4Capital slumped after its auditors PwC delayed the release of its preliminary statement of results for the second time. At the beginning of March, PwC requested more time to complete the audit process, then said that the firm was still not ready for the rescheduled deadline. The accounting delays have wiped £810m off the firm's market value, and £90m from the value of Sorrell's own stake in the business.

Sorrell commented: 'Whilst this growth, both organic and through business combinations, is very satisfying, the delay in producing our 2021 results is unacceptable and embarrassing and significant changes in our financial control, risk and governance structure and resources are being implemented and planned, including several significant additions to the central and Content practice financial teams and the Audit Committee'.

Web site: www.s4capital.com .

All articles 2006-22 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.

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