Shares in S4 Capital fell more than 20% Monday after the London-based ad-marketing holding firm downgraded its full-year organic net revenue outlook.
The firm said net organic revenue (which excludes M&A and currency impact) is now expected to be down year-over-year. In July the firm said growth would be in the 2%-to-4% range, which was a downgrade from an earlier projection of 6%-to-10% growth.
The firm blamed challenging macroeconomic conditions, “and clients’ caution, with longer sales cycles, particularly with technology and newer regional and local clients.”
The firm narrowed its operating loss by 69 million GBP largely through cost-cutting, including a headcount reduction of 5%, reducing total staff to 8,550 at the end of the first half.
Net organic revenue growth in the first half was 5.1%, driven largely by the Americas region (growth of 6.8%), which now accounts for 79% of the firm’s business. EMEA was up 1.7% and APAC down 6.9%.
Reported net revenues were 445 GBP, up 19%. The firm’s H1 net loss was 19.7 GBP.
The firm’s content unit, its largest, posted an organic decline of 2.5%. Data & digital media was up 2.4% and technology services was up 54%.
“As in recent years, we expect the full year results to be heavily Q4 weighted reflecting our seasonality and anticipated client activity,” the company stated.