FTI Consulting’s strategic communications revenue fell 12.9% in the second quarter to $46.6M as the M&A and financial PR powerhouse saw declines in “one of the worst environments for capital markets activity and M&A transactions since 2009 and ’04, according to president and CEO Jack Dunn.

FTI said pricing pressures and retainer fees in North America and fewer projects in Asia Pacific, among other factors, hurt its PR revenue. Fewer high-margin project engagements cut into profit, as well, despite lower compensation costs.

FTI led M&A PR advisers for the first half of 2012 by number of deals (97) but ranked fourth by value of the transactions, according to mergermarket.

Overall FTI revenues at its five business units fell one percent to $396.2M as net income was halved to $7.7M compared with Q2 of 2011.

FTI last month cut three percent of its 3,800-member staff and took a $27M charge for the quarter mostly centered on what it said it were two most underperforming units. Strategic communications (-12.9%) and technology (-16.5% to $47.7M) posted the highest declines for Q2. FTI said of the $27M charge, the PR unit took a $4.5M charge to yield $2M in savings over remainer of 2012.

Dunn said based on Q2 performance and “subject to the uncertainty created by the political elections in the US and the continuing credit concerns in Europe, we expect our activities to continue at similar levels for the remainder of 2012 and to benefit from the cost reduction moves made in the quarter."

Across its other units, corporate finance/restructuring revenue was up 10.2% to $112.3M, economic consulting rose 5.3% to $99.5M, while forensic and litigation consulting decreased 3.5% to $90.1M.

Geoffrey Pelham-Lane, president of FTI's global strategic communications unit, left the firm in late July.