(Adds quotes, analyst reaction, shares)
LONDON, March 25 (Reuters) - Martin Sorrell’s digital ad group S4 Capital said its momentum had continued into 2021, with like-for-like January gross profit well ahead of budget, after it reported a 19.4% rise in like-for-like gross profit in 2020.
Sorrell said the company’s purely digital model based on using first party data to create, produce and distribute digital advertising content was resonating with clients. “We’re in a digital sweet spot,” he said in an interview on Thursday. “You saw the pandemic drive digital transformation, and now you’re going to see GDP growth grow that even further.”
The company, which has major contracts with Google, BMW/MINI and Mondelez, said it gross profit rose to 295.2 million pounds ($403.8 million). Billings rose 43.4% on a reported level and 19.6% on a like-for-like level to 653.4 million pounds.
Shares in the group rose 2% in morning deals, as analysts at Jefferies said the company was benefiting from structurally growing digital and tech advertising spend, the highest growth areas in global advertising.
$1 = 0.7311 pounds Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by James Davey