Martin Sorrell
Martin Sorrell

S4 Capital chalked up an “outstandingly successful” performance during its second full year of operation, according to founder Martin Sorrell, as like-for-like revenues jumped 15.2 percent to $475M and operating income hit $11.1M compared to a year-earlier $5.2M loss.

He did credit “pride of place for these achievements” to S4’s 4,400 people in 31 countries” who “responded unflinchingly to the colossal strain and challenge of the pandemic.”

Sorrell said the “creativity, adaptability, resilience and hard work” of S4’s employees proved the “potency of our new age/era, digital, data-driven, unitary model, which has started to gain significant traction.”

S4’s plan to “double organically” every three years is off to a good start in 2021. Goals for 2021 are to “bed down” S4’s two “whoppers” (e.g., clients with more than $20M in annual spending) and identify five more; roll out binary branding and broaden and deeper digital offerings.

As the world rebounds from COVID-19 and spends and invests pandemic-driven fiscal and monetary stimulus. Sorrell is high on 2021 and 2022 growth.

He noted S4’s digital marketing strengths are correlated, but not dependent on GDP growth, “just as traditional media spending used to be in the last century.”

The founder of WPP also gave a shout-out to a former WPP colleague, Miles Young, who joined S4 in June as a non-executive director.

He views Young, who helmed Ogilvy for eight years, as one of David Ogilvy’s “gentlemen with brains.”