Sir Martin Sorrell posts loss but revenue heads higher

Sir Martin Sorrell’s new marketing communications venture has reported a full-year loss, despite revenues being boosted by a string of new clients.

S4 Capital booked a £9.1 million pre-tax loss in 2018, its first year in existence.

However, pro-forma revenue jumped 58% to £135.9 million as the advertising tycoon continues to take the challenge to his old firm, WPP.

The firm said it won significant new business from the likes of Procter & Gamble, Nestle, Avon, Mondelez, Bayer, Electronic Arts and Electrolux.

Sales were driven by deals to acquire digital content production company MediaMonks and San Francisco-based MightyHive.

Sir Martin said: “It is clear that the company’s purely digital model based on first-party data fuelling digital content and programmatic is resonating with clients.

“Our tag line ‘Faster, better, cheaper’ and unitary, one P&L (profit and loss) structure also appeal strongly.

“The imperatives will be to broaden and deepen relationships with existing and new clients; to broaden and deepen geographical coverage; and to attract additional data, content and media talent and resources through direct recruitment, acquisition and/or merger.”

S4 added that revenue and gross like-for-like profit growth was up more than 30% in January and, for 2019, the firm is pencilling in improved margins.

Sir Martin left the WPP last year in the wake of allegations of personal misconduct and that he misused company funds.

S4 has since grown to employ 1,200 people in 16 countries.

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