FTI cuts 3% of workforce, but comms layoffs 'minimal'

WEST PALM BEACH, FL: FTI Consulting said Friday that job cuts in its strategic communications unit are minimal despite layoffs across the company's other divisions.

WEST PALM BEACH, FL: FTI Consulting said Friday that job cuts in its strategic communications unit are minimal despite layoffs across the company's other divisions.  

FTI said in a statement on Friday that it is laying off 115 employees, or 3% of its workforce, and consolidating leased office space at six locations. As a result, the company will pay a pre-tax income charge of $28 million in the second quarter. FTI estimated that the layoffs and consolidations will result in operational savings of $14 million for the rest of this year.

However, the number of layoffs in FTI's strategic communications arm was minimal, and that unit's business is growing, a company source told PRWeek.  

The firm hired David Blackmon as MD of the strategic communication unit's energy and natural resources team last week. Blackmon is the first member of FTI's Houston office, and he will work to increase the company's presence in that region. He was previously director of government affairs at El Paso Corporation, a gas transportation and storage company.

The strategic communications practice will hire more employees in its energy and healthcare and life sciences teams, the source said.

FTI will announce its second-quarter results in August. The group reported a revenue drop of 2.9% year-over-year to $45 million in the first quarter of 2012, which was attributed to a difficult market in Europe. The unit reported $2.6 million in operating income in Q1.

FTI's overall revenue increased 9.2% to $395.2 million in the first quarter, compared with Q1 2011. The company earned $18.4 million in net income in the period.

The company reported revenue growth of 4% in 2011, which was slightly behind plans due in part to market volatility and uncertainty in Europe and the Middle East. It had no bottom-line growth last year.

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