S4 Capital Continues Its Success, Credits "Whopper" Clients

Sir Martin Sorrell’s S4 Capital 2020 reported revenue grew 59.3%, from £215.1 million ($295 million) in 2019 to £342.7 million ($470 million), while year-end net cash stood at £51.6 million ($71 million).

Sorrell attributes this success to his so-called “Whopper” clients, currently totaling five, which fuel his “ultimate 20 squared objective” to nab “20 clients each generating revenues of over $20 million per annum,” he states.

To achieve this goal, the company has identified five more potential “Whoppers,” where S4 currently projects $5-15 million of revenue per year and “potentially” could break through the $20 million per annum level. He is also in the process of identifying five more potential “Whoppers” currently generating under $10 million each year, bringing the total actual and potential “Whoppers” to 15 out of the target of 20.



In addition to new client BMW/MINI and the “significant broadening” of its relationship with Mondelez, there were major new remits from clients, such as  Google, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Procter & Gamble, T-Mobile, Bayer & HP and new assignments from Cisco, Embibe, Harley Davidson, PayPal, LA28, Shopify and Verizon, among others.

Sorrell notes the company’s current pipeline is running at stronger levels than last year. As of now, tech clients account for around 55% of revenues.

Reported billings for 2020 reached £653.4 million ($897 million), up 43.4%. (These figures represent gross billings to clients including pass through costs.) Sorrell even made a little money with profit before income tax hitting £3.1 million ($4 million), after charging adjusting items, versus a loss of £9.2 million ($13 million) in 2019. Sorrell is also giving back, reporting S4 donated an additional $0.4 million to charities last year.

The company continues to broaden and deepen its service offerings by acquisitions. Along with scooping up four content-based and six data/digital media companies in 2020, S4 announced today that Jam3 will join its roster under the MediaMonks banner.

The Toronto-based designed and experience agency has over 150 employees worldwide specializing in new products and design platforms. The firm’s client portfolio includes Facebook, Sonos, Adidas, eBay, Levi’s and CrowdStrike. Through the merger, MediaMonks will expand its presence in Los Angeles, The Netherlands, Canada and Latin America with an all-new expansion in Uruguay.

“Jam3 is another key step in our seizing the next decade and converting clients at scale to our new, unitary model,” states Sorrell. The Group now has approximately 4,400 people in 31 countries, trending toward double where it was this time last year.

Sorrell concludes the imperatives for 2021 are to move beyond brand awareness and brand trial to greater client conversion at scale. He also hopes to broaden and deepen S4's service capability through mergers and deals.

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