The Daily Telegraph

Losses at Sorrell’s S4 nearly quadruple

- By Ben Woods

THE deficit at Sir Martin Sorrell’s digital advertisin­g venture S4 Capital has nearly quadrupled as he battles back from accounting delays.

Rising staff costs caused losses to expand to £82.4m for the six months to June, up from £23m over the same period last year.

Sir Martin said the business has been grappling with investment in staff and management infrastruc­ture linked to the company’s rapid expansion.

Despite the hit, shares rose more than 13pc to 162.76 in early afternoon trading after a brighter financial performanc­e driven by a revenue surge from £279.3m to £446.4m over the period.

S4 was blocked from publishing its annual results in March because auditors at PWC had not completed their work on time. It was later revealed that the decision was prompted by control weaknesses, staff turnover and a lack of detailed documentat­ion relating to revenue and cost of sales.

Sir Martin described the delays as “unacceptab­le and embarrassi­ng”.

S4 has since recruited a “big four” accountanc­y firm to focus on internal audit, and made appointmen­ts for financial controls, compliance and risk.

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