Martin Sorrell has unveiled ambitious plans for his new venture, S4 Capital, announcing he aims to double revenues and profits over the next three years.
Speaking at the announcement of S4’s inaugural results in London yesterday, Sorrell described his new venture as being in the “sweet spot” and he believed its digital offerings had “resonated with clients”.
Yesterday, S4 reported a profit of £7.6 million ($A14.18 million) for 2018, down from £8.6 million ($A16 million) in 2017. However, revenues were up 58 per cent to £135.9 million ($A254 million).
Commenting on the results, Sorrell said: “Clients thought that with the growth of the internet they would have direct access to consumers, but that does not seem to be the case as platforms are not allowing access.
“It’s just like Brexit – clients are saying they want to take back control.”
He added that acquisitions would be the key to S4’s growth before warning that they were “high-priced… but there are opportunities.”
The company would also place a high priority on recruiting the industry’s top talent in a “turbulent” time with “a lot of churn”, Sorrell added.
All this will arguably do little to assuage WPP that S4 isn’t actively playing in its patch.
When Sorrell left under cloud last April he allegedly signed a strict non-compete.
As reported on B&T yesterday, WPP had to pay its former boss £2.13 million ($A4 million) in a share payout as part of his generous termination package.
Since his departure, Sorrell has taken regular potshots at WPP and questioned the direction its new CEO, Mark Read, was taking.
Sorrell claims because he still has a significant (1.5 per cent) stake in WPP that gives him the right to make public comments about his former company.
He has described S4 as a “peanut” in comparison to the size of WPP, before adding: “It does occur to me some people have peanut allergies.”