WASHINGTON — FTI Consulting’s strategic communications segment saw revenues rise by 3.7% in Q1, putting an end to the three consecutive quarters of decline the division experienced in 2020.

Q1 revenues rose to $60.5 million during the three months ending March 31, up from $58.4 million the first quarter of 2020. The segment, however, saw revenue decrease 0.5%, or $0.3 million, when the estimated positive impact from FX is excluded, primarily due to a $2.2 million decline in pass-through revenues.

Adjusted segment EBITDA of $10.4 million, or 17.2% of segment revenues, compared to $8.8 million, or 15.0% of segment revenues, in the prior year quarter. The increase in adjusted segment EBITDA was primarily due to lower SG&A expenses compared to the prior year quarter.

“It was a solid quarter and sets us up nicely for the year,” said Mark McCall, the global leader of FTI's communication segment.

McCall credited the rise in revenue to demand for the segment’s digital, crisis, public affairs and ESG offerings, as well as an uptick in M&A business in the US and EMEA.

The segment’s performance in Q1 was a notable lift over Q4 2020, when the group saw revenue drop 8.8%. That quarter, however, was an improvement in business from Q3, when revenue was down 11.7% from the same period of time the previous year, largely due to the Covid pandemic.

The group's revenue dropped more in Q3 than it did in Q2, when revenue declined $2.2 million, or 3.8%, to $56.9 million from the second quarter of 2019. 

Business was slightly up, 1.2%, in the first quarter of 2020, during which businesses started changing dramatically due to the coronavirus outbreak. That quarterly lift furthered the growth trend FTI’s communications segment saw in 2018 and 2019, during which revenue grew 16%.