Revenue grows by 40% in Q1 at S4 Capital

The company is planning further acquisitions to deepen its service offering.
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After its full-year 2021 results were delayed twice due to auditing delays, S4 Capital has released its Q1 financial results on time, showing major revenue growth and optimistic predictions for the year ahead.

Revenue for the company hit £206.8 million for the three months ended March 31, up 40.6% year-over-year on a like-for-like and pro-forma basis. Net revenue was up 34.5%.

Content, the company’s biggest segment by revenue, was up 41.1%, with data and digital media services up 35.8%. While it still represents a much smaller dollar figure than the other segments, revenue in technology services was up 71%.

Like-for-like pro forma net revenue was up 29.2% in the Americas, with 54.7% growth in EMEA and 40.7% in Asia-Pacific.

Executive chairman Martin Sorrell said in a statement that the company has benefited with ongoing clients investments in digital platforms and transformation, which is expected to continue in the year ahead as digital investments are expected to continue despite GDP growth slowing in many markets. S4 is targetting 25% like-for-like revenue and gross profit growth for the full year.

Sorrell added that the company’s goals for the year include more client conversion and further integrate its three practices.

The lengthy delay for S4′s full-year results due to delays at auditor PwC led some in the industry to suspect major issues at the company. Pandemic-related travel and resource issues were cited for the delay, though some finance experts pointed out that S4′s acquisition and merger spree likely made PwC’s work particularly complicated. S4 merged 11 companies through the course of 2021.

That has not slowed S4 down on the acquisition front, having announced mergers with data firm 4 Mile Analytics and digital innovation consultancy TheoremOne in the last several weeks. In today’s results, the company advised that it is examining further merger opportunities – another one of its 2022 priorities – to deepen its service offering, specifically in content, technology and data and digital media. Currently, the company’s revenue is split 70-5-25 between the three practices, but is targeting 50-25-25.

In order to limit future delays in financial reporting, the company says promised changes have and will continue to be implemented at the board, company and content practice levels in financial reporting and control, internal audit, governance, risk and compliance.