FTI strategic comms revenue up 2.8% in Q2

Project-based corporate reputation work drove the increase, the company said.

'Good growth on top of exceptional growth': FTI strategic comms segment leader Mark McCall
'Good growth on top of exceptional growth': FTI strategic comms segment leader Mark McCall

WASHINGTON: FTI Consulting’s strategic communications segment posted revenue of $59.1 million in Q2 on organic growth of 2.8%. 

The percentage increase improved on Q2 2018, when FTI’s strategic comms unit was up 24.3% over the year prior. 

Mark McCall, global segment leader for strategic communications at FTI, said Q2 was a positive quarter for the group when put in perspective. 

"This is good growth on top of exceptional growth in the previous quarter and the year before," he said. "The business is still growing, and we are comfortable where we are in terms of growth and profitability. We’re taking this moment to invest in the business so that our long-term trajectory stays on track."

McCall added that FTI saw "a softer market on the transaction side of the business, and that’s true across the industry."

"However, we’ve seen stronger growth in crisis and corporate investment and corporate reputation work across the board in the U.S. and EMEA," he said. "We’ve also seen growth outside that core into Asia and Australia."

Trends such as nationalism and international instability are a double-edged sword for firms such as FTI. On one hand, they generate business, on the other, they sometimes depress it.

"Is that why we’re seeing fewer deals? I think it could be the result of topics like nationalism and ‘Brexit.’ They are challenges to any business and could be causing the slowdown in the volume of transactions," said McCall. "As I say that, transactions still happening, just at a slower rate, and I think that picks up at some point." 

FTI said in its earnings statement that North America and EMEA corporate reputation projects were responsible for the Q2 increase. Much of that growth come from existing relationships, McCall said. 

"We gain projects off existing clients, and we’ve also had continued engagements referred to us from law firms and investment banks," he said. "Shareholder activism continues to be an area of growth for us."

Q2 revenue for the company as a whole rose 18.4% to $606.1 million, and net income was up 48% to $64.6 million. 

The firm reported organic revenue growth across business segments. The corporate finance and restructuring group posted 34.4% growth to $190 million; forensic and litigation consulting grew by 9.2% to $145.9 million; economic consulting saw 16.6% growth to $155.5 million; and technology grew by 19.8% to $55.6 million.

In 2018, FTI’s comms revenue was $220.3 million, up 14% year-over-year, according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report

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