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HomeBusinessMoneyMARKET REPORT: S4 Capital revenues soar as Sorrell signs new clients

MARKET REPORT: S4 Capital revenues soar as Sorrell signs new clients

Revenues at S4 Capital, the advertising agency run by Sir Martin Sorrell, more than doubled in the third quarter after it landed ‘whopper’ clients.

Income rocketed up 106 per cent to £178million, better than previous expectations, while gross profits surged 92 per cent to £144.4million.

Sorrell, the former boss of advertising giant WPP, said it now had six ‘whopper’ clients on its books and had identified another 19 potentials, meaning it could exceed its short-term target of having a total of 20.

Deals: Income at S4 Capital, the advertising agency run by Sir Martin Sorrell (pictured), rocketed 106% to £178m while gross profits surged 92% to £144.4m

Recent additions included social media giant Facebook and computer maker HP. Existing clients include Google, Amazon, Burberry and Netflix.

Digital marketing, in which S4 specialises, has accelerated during the pandemic as more companies advertise online rather than in print and on TV.

S4 aims to take ‘full advantage’ of this shift by investing to grow the business, and has hired aggressively. 

It had 6,926 staff at the end of the third quarter, up 52 per cent compared with the same time last year. The long-term goal is to double in size by 2024.

Stock Watch – Velocys 

MARKET REPORT: S4 Capital revenues soar as Sorrell signs new clients

Fuel company Velocys saw its shares shoot up to an 11-month high after it landed contracts with two major airline groups.

The firm has signed a ten-year agreement to supply 73m gallons of its sustainable aviation fuel to IAG, which owns British Airways.

It has also inked a separate 15-year supply deal for 575m gallons with US carrier Southwest Airlines.

Together, the two deals will consume 100pc of the annual production from the company’s Bayou Fuels project in Mississippi, United States.

Velocys shares soared 33.3 per cent, or 2.1p, to 8.4p. 

Despite the strong results, the plans to invest its earnings in growth appeared to have spooked investors, as the shares tumbled 10.3 per cent, or 81p, to 702p.

Analysts at broker Peel Hunt said the investments may hit the profit margins in the short term.

The FTSE 100 added 0.91 per cent, or 66.11 points, to 7340.15 while the FTSE 250 rose 0.28 per cent, or 66.11 points, to 23433.25. 

Strong results from major blue-chip firms helped offset jitters caused by a jump in inflation in the US, which is at its highest levels since 1990 amid the global supply chain crisis.

Signs of rising inflation in China also weighed on fashion label Burberry, which counts the country among its core markets. The shares sank 1 per cent, or 20p, to 1967p.

There were rumblings that B&Q could suffer supply chain issues as over 400 workers at the DIY retailer’s Worksop warehouse are set to walk out on strike this month in a row over union-busting and pay.

The strike is due to run until February, which could mean shortages over Christmas. Investors in the company’s parent Kingfisher seemed unfazed, with the shares rising 2.9 per cent, or 9.7p, to 340.3p.

Oxford Nanopore got a small lift after two brokers initiated coverage on the stock with positive ratings. 

JP Morgan pegged the shares at ‘overweight’ with a target price of 725p, while RBC set the stock at ‘outperform’, with an 800p target. It rose 0.6 per cent, or 3.5p, to 591p.

Industrial software firm Aveva dropped 3.6 per cent, or 126p, to 3384p after its losses widened in the six months to the end of September.

They stood at £74.3million compared with £23.2million in the same period a year as the firm counted the costs relating to its purchase of data firm Osisoft in March. 

Healthcare investor Syncona added 2.2 per cent, or 4.5p, to close at 205.5p after one of its portfolio companies, Freeline Therapeutics, unveiled data from an clinical trial of a drug designed to treat Fabry disease, an inherited disorder that can cause extreme pain and dizziness.

Meanwhile, mid-cap payments firm Network International offloaded its 50 per cent stake in Transguard, a cash transport business in the United Arab Emirates, for £55million, to focus more on digital payments. Shares climbed 1.4 per cent, or 4.3p, to 314.9p.

Insig AI, a provider of data and computing solutions for asset managers, rose 4.1 per cent, or 2p, to 51p after appointing a chief commercial officer. Colm McVeigh previously helped secure BT’s acquisition of mobile network EE.

Fellow small-cap Zoo Digital, a provider of dubbing and subtitling services, rose 0.4 per cent, or 0.5p, to 130p as the success of foreign language shows such as Squid Game boosted demand. In the six months to September 30, revenues surged 64 per cent to £19.9million.

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