2020 performance

Financial highlights

Like-for-like3 +19.6%
Like-for-like +15.2%
Gross profit
Like-for-like +19.4%
Operational EBITDA4
Like-for-like +18.3%
Operational EBITDA margin5
+1.6 margin points
Like-for-like -0.2 margin points
Operating profit
2019 -£3.8m
Adjusted operating profit6
Like-for-like +15.9%
Profit before income tax
2019 -£9.2m
Adjusted result before income tax7
Like-for-like +19.3%
Adjusted basic earnings per share
2019 5.2p
Market capitalisation at 28 April 2021
Pro-forma2 billings
Pro-forma revenue
Pro-forma gross profit
Pro-forma operational EBITDA
Pro-forma operational EBITDA margin
+1.2 margin points
Pro-forma operating profit
2019 -£1.2m
Pro-forma adjusted operating profit
Pro-forma profit before income tax
2019 -£6.7m
Pro-forma adjusted result before income tax
Pro-forma adjusted basic earnings per share
2019 7.5p
Share price at 28 April 2021

For full reconciliation from statutory to non-GAAP measures, please refer to Note 25 and the unaudited preliminary results published on 25 March 2021.

  1. Billings is gross billings to clients including pass-through costs.
  2. Pro-forma numbers relate to unaudited full year non-statutory and non-GAAP consolidated results in constant currency as if the Group had existed in full for the year and have been prepared under comparable GAAP with no consolidation eliminations. Consequently the prior year comparatives will change year on year.
  3. Like-for-like is a non-GAAP measure related to 2019 being restated to show the unaudited numbers for the previous year of the existing and acquired businesses consolidated for the same months as in 2020 applying currency rates as used in 2020.
  4. Operational EBITDA is EBITDA adjusted for non-recurring items and recurring share-based payments and is a non-GAAP measure management uses to assess the underlying business performance. Operational EBITDA margin is operational EBITDA divided by gross profit.
  5. Operational EBITDA margin is operational EBITDA divided by gross profit.
  6. Adjusted operating profit is operating profit/loss adjusted for non-recurring items and recurring share-based payments.
  7. Adjusted result before income tax is profit/loss before income tax adjusted for non-recurring items and recurring share-based payments.

The shape of
our business

  • 4,400
  • 31
  • 57
  • 1
    unitary structure
Company locations
S4 offices

Our four core

We are purely digital
Holy Trinity of: First-party data Digital content Digital media
Speed Quality Value*
With a unitary structure
*A more elegant version of Faster, Better, Cheaper.
Digital pure play pays off
  • Scott Spirit, Chief Growth Officer, S⁴Capital
  • Peter Rademaker, Chief Financial Officer, S⁴Capital
  • Simore van Bijsterveldt, Chief Financial Officer, MediaMonks
  • Jordi Covas, Chief Financial Officer, MightyHive
  • Deepa Balji, Communications Director, S⁴Capital APAC
Watch some of our senior financial and growth leaders comment on the financial performance across all our markets, including the impact of covid-19, and taking the lead in the 2020s.


By all accounts, 2020 was an unforgettable year. We emerged stronger than we’d expected on even our most optimistic performance.

  • We continued to grow our top line and bottom line at industry leading rates and exhibited agility in developing new Content revenue streams quickly, such as robotic production, animation and online events and driving Data & Digital Media net revenues.
  • We broadened and deepened our client roster. We set about converting client relationships at scale and now have five ‘whoppers’ secure or in sight, in line with our ultimate 202 objective, that is 20 clients each generating revenues of over $20 million per annum.
  • We continued to broaden and deepen our Content and Data & Digital Media practices through organic growth and by the addition of a further four Content companies and six Data & Digital Media companies in both 2020 and so far in early 2021.
  • We further integrated our unitary client offering around our Content and Data & Digital Media practices.
  • We embraced the diversity, equity and inclusion and ESG opportunities and challenges with unique Black-orientated fellowship and female executive leadership programmes, changed hiring practices and education programmes and made zero carbon commitments targeting 2024.
  • We achieved double $ and £ Unicorn status in terms of stock market value, in only our second full year.
Pride of place for these achievements should go to our (now) over 4,400 people in 31 countries, who have responded unflinchingly to the colossal strain and challenge of the pandemic. Their creativity, adaptability, resilience and hard work have made this success possible and have started to prove the potency of our new age/new era, digital, data-driven, unitary model, which has started to gain significant traction. The pandemic has, at the same time, accelerated adoption of digital transformation amongst consumers, across all media and within enterprises and, in turn, stimulated the demand from clients for digital marketing expertise.


By geography, on a pro-forma basis, The Americas accounted for 73.3% of gross profit against 72.6% in 2019. Europe, Middle East & Africa represented 17.7% of gross profit against 19.7% in 2019. Asia Pacific represented 9.0% of gross profit against 7.7% in 2019. Growth in gross profit was up 24.9% in The Americas, 11.3% in Europe, Middle East and Africa and 43.7% in Asia Pacific. Our long-term objective is to achieve a geographic distribution of 40% in The Americas, 20% in Europe, Middle East and Africa and 40% in Asia Pacific.
Gross profit by region
The Americas
Gross profit by region
Europe, Middle East & Africa
Gross profit by region
Asia Pacific


By practice, on a pro-forma basis, Content accounted for 71.7% of gross profit against 70.4% in 2019. The Data & Digital Media Practice represented 28.3% of gross profit against 29.6% in 2019. Growth in gross profit was up 26.0% like-for-like at the Content Practice and up 18.3% at the Data & Digital Media Practice. Our long-term objective is to achieve a practice distribution around 60% Content and 40% Data & Digital Media, emphasising the growing importance of digital video.
Gross profit by practice
Gross profit by practice
Data & Digital Media
Seizing the next decade
  • Pete Kim, Data & Digital Practice Co-Lead
  • Christopher S. Martin, Data & Digital Practice Co-Lead
  • Wesley ter Haar, Content Practice Co-Lead
  • Luciana Haguiara, Executive Creative Director, MediaMonks/Circus
  • Amy Michael, Chief Revenue Officer, Firewood Marketing
  • Tessa Ohlendorf, Managing Director, MightyHive Canada
  • Michel de Rijk, Chief Executive Officer, S⁴Capital APAC
Watch some of our senior business leaders discuss the transformational shifts in the marketing landscape, client needs and ways of working, and how we’re shaping the business for continued growth.

ESG: sustainability and
corporate responsibility

“We have a firm belief that creativity and technology are a force for good and powerful tools required in the transition towards a more sustainable society”

MediaMonk’s sustainability was adopted across the Group in 2020. The strategy, comprising three pillars, is based on our potential impact, stakeholder opinions and our contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) developed in 2015 by the United Nations.
  • Sustainable Production focuses on our work for and with clients.
  • Zero Impact Workspaces concentrates on our own operations.
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I), focuses both on our own workplace and on inspiring others.
How we create value with our strategy and contribute to the SDGs
The impact model (below) explains how our sustainability strategy, our activities and the resources we use, lead to our ultimate impact goal. It describes how we create added value, not only now, but also in the long term. As shown in the model, we aim to contribute to the SDGs.

Our impact model



  • 3,247 employees1
  • >30 countries
  • 45% women
    55% men


  • >50 offices
  • 1,439.9 MWh electricity used
  • 6.8m km travelled by plane

Financial capital

  • £3,644,586 (gross profit) invested in R&D
  • £1.16bn in total assets


  • Clients
  • Business partners
  • Charities

Business model

Our vision

Creativity and technology are a force for good and powerful tools required in the transition towards a more sustainable society

Our ESG mission

We are a catalyst for the sustainable impact of our clients

Our strategy

  • Zero Impact Workspaces
  • Sustainable Production
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion


  • 26% trained on diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Offered 77 internships
  • 2.66% absenteeism2
  • 39% of electricity is renewable
  • 1.24 tonnes CO2
  • 31% of waste separated (total 153.2 tonnes)
  • £295.2m net revenue
  • £356,568 donated to charities
  • 7,800 projects for clients
  • 41 Creativity For Good projects
  • 12 CSR partnerships

Long-term value

We empower our people to be a catalyst for change, in an inclusive, diverse and creative workplace

We create a climate-neutral and environmentally conscious business

We remain economically viable and invest in our innovations to enable us to contribute to sustainability challenges in the long run

We improve the sustainable impact of our clients – to bring about the shift in attitudes and behaviour needed to reach the SDGs

Zero Impact Workspaces

Affordable and clean energy Responsible consumption and production Climate action

Sustainable Production

Qualtiy education Industry, innovation and infrastructure Responsible consumption and production

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Gender equality Decent work and economic growth Reduced inequalities

2020 data

  • Emission per FTE
    (Full Time Employee)
    1.24 tonnes CO2
  • Charitable donations £356,568
  • % 2020 net revenue
    (gross profit) donated
  • Hours worked on Projects For Good 28,000 hours
  • Projects for Good 41
  • Diversity ratio 45% women: 55% men


  1. Percentage of consolidated gross profit of S⁴Capital Group.
A comprehensive report on S⁴Capital’s 2020 CSR performance can be downloaded here.
Making a real impact
  • Victor Knaap, Content Practice Co-Lead
  • Imma Trillo, Senior VP, Global People & Talent, Firewood
  • Kamron Hack, Senior Director, Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Firewood
  • Beryl Cheung, Creative Director, MediaMonks
  • Richard Nieuwenhuis, COO, MediaMonks
  • Kate Richling, Chief Marketing Officer, MediaMonks
Watch a panel of S⁴Capital’s ESG champions talking about our new era approach to corporate social responsibility, including our vision, strategy and alignment to broader sustainability-related initiatives.