S4 Capital reported net revenue of approximately $144 million for the first quarter with organic growth of 33%.
Organic growth for full year 2021 is now projected to be 30%.
The Group’s Content practice, representing 72% of net revenue posted organic growth of 31% while the data and digital media practice was up 36% on an organic basis.
The company, founded by former WPP CEO Martin Sorrell three years ago now has a staff of 5,000 in 31 countries worldwide. Staff growth nearly doubled over the past year largely through M&A activity.
The company also announced it latest M&A deal today—Brazil’s digital performance agency Raccoon Group which was founded in 2013 by former Google executives André Palis and Marco Túlio Kehdi. Terms weren’t disclosed.
The agency, which will be combined with S4’s programmatic unit MightyHive, specializes in digital paid media (search, social and commerce media), inbound marketing (search engine optimization and conversion rate optimization) and IT/Business Intelligence (data analytics).
It has a staff of 450 with clients including Natura, Nubank, Carrefour, Gympass, iFood, Leroy Merlin, Yduqs, Unilever and Google.
“We have benefited from our clients continuing to increase their investment in digital content and data & digital media” Sorrell said of the company’s Q1 performance. “This has been accelerated by the impact of the pandemic, which has accelerated the shift to online marketing amongst three communities--consumers, the media and enterprises. In addition, it has been accelerated by the snapback in global GDP growth after last year’s decline, which is currently estimated to be 5-6% this year and 4-5% next.”
Most of the firm’s staff remain working at home and Sorrell said that the company will likely adapt a hybrid working model going forward. “Although patterns may differ geographically, we believe that it is most likely that offices will be occupied on average for three days a week, for there to be more distance living and working and more flexible working hours and commuting times.”
On the new business front, Sorrell said the company’s focus is to win 20 clients paying $20 million in annual fees. He said the firm will have five such client this year including Google, Facebook, BMW/Mini and Mondelez and a fifth undisclosed marketer. Current new business activity, he said, is “frenetic,” and significantly above what it was a year ago.
The company will also be rolling out its new unified branding this year. More acquisitions are also in the works.
The company said its annual meeting will take place on June 7. Shareholders will participate virtually.