PPHC Announces Full Year Results for 2023

Unaudited Preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2023

Record financial performance and excellent strategic progress with acquisitions deepening geographic reach and policy expertise

Public Policy Holding Company, Inc., the government relations and public affairs group providing clients with a fully integrated and comprehensive range of services, is pleased to announce its unaudited full year results for the year ended 31 December 2023.

Financial Highlights

  • Revenue increased 24.1% to a record $135.0m (2022: $108.8m), growing by 2.0% organically, displaying the inherent strength of the Group through the economic cycle
  • Underlying EBITDA rose by 12.4% to $35.1m (2022: $31.2m), in line with market expectations and achieved at a margin of 26.0%, within the Group’s target range of between 25% and 30%
  • Underlying Net Income increased by 13.9% to $26.5m (2022: $23.3m)
  • Balance sheet remains strong with cash generated from operations of $21.6m and a year-end net cash position of $3.4m, comprising $14.3m cash offset by outstanding debt of $10.9m, reflecting very low leverage levels and positioning the Group well to deliver further value accretive M&A
  • Declaration of a final dividend of $0.097 per Common Outstanding Share, taking the total dividend for 2023 to $0.143 per share, representing an increase of 2% year-on-year and in line with the Group’s dividend policy

Operational Highlights

  • Excellent strategic progress, sustaining and organically growing the core offering in challenging markets while pursuing successful, value accretive acquisitions to broaden services and geographic reach
  • Ended 2023 as the #1 federal lobbying agency in the US1, with the Group’s federal lobbying firms collectively reporting $68.3m of disclosed revenue
  • Successful acquisition of MultiState Associates, Inc. (“MultiState” or “MultiState Associates”) on 1 March 2023, proving the attractiveness of the holding company proposition to unlock growth and value
    • Multistate delivered a strong full-year performance, contributing healthily to Group revenue and EBITDA
  • All business segments achieved year-on-year growth, demonstrating the strength and breadth of the Group’s services
  • Improved client diversification, with the top 10 Group clients representing 8.8% of total revenue, down from 9.6% in 2022 and reflecting sustained progress from 2021, when the top 10 represented 13.1%
  • The Group ended 2023 with c.1,200 total clients, compared c.850 in 2022. The current client roster includes 137 Fortune 500 clients and related trade associations, while directly serving 44 Fortune 100 clients
  • Number of clients spending $100k or greater per year was 468, a year-on-year increase of 23%
    • The growth of clients spending $100k or greater demonstrates the Group is successfully cross selling its services with multiple operating companies advising on specific policy areas and specialisms
    • Launched Concordant Advisory, the Group’s first organically developed offering, in November 2023 to enhance cross-selling between operating companies and geographies and better support clients with strategic communications challenges, for which public policy is paramount for their growth
  • Continued focus on people, with the lowest employee attrition rates on record, while adding key talent in specialist areas including AI, aerospace and defence, technology and energy transformation. These sector specialisms are central to today’s broader policy agenda
  • Number of employees as at 31 December 2023 totalled 333, up from 244 as at 31 December 2022

1Source: 2023 Lobbying Disclosure Act

Current trading and Outlook

  • Current year-to-date trading is promising, and the Group continues to grow organically, supported by new client wins across sectors, including RTX Corporation (formerly Raytheon Technologies), Phillips 66, Nuclear Innovation Alliance, Dynavax Technologies and Fight Colorectal Cancer 
  • In the medium term the Group expects organic revenue growth, on average, to be between 5% and 10%, supplemented by growth from M&A
  • The Group continues to target an Underlying EBITDA margin of between 25% and 30%
  • Pipeline of strategic and accretive acquisition opportunities in the US and Europe remains strong, as the Group looks to broaden its market position in federal and state advocacy, as well as in the adjacent strategic communications and public affairs markets

Stewart Hall, CEO, commented:

“PPHC has performed extremely well in what have undoubtedly been some of the toughest macro conditions we have seen since our inception ten years ago. In 2023, the unpredictability of politics – not just in the US but globally – was mixed with increased interest rates and broader macro-uncertainty. It is therefore testament to our broad offering and operating companies that our clients are ever-increasingly relying on our support in navigating these difficult times.

“The increasing demand for our services has enabled us to generate solid levels of organic growth and healthy expansion in total client numbers. Strategically, we are progressing well with a healthy pipeline of value accretive acquisition opportunities and the strength of our holding company model being validated by the outperformance of our two most recent acquisitions.

“While global uncertainty persists in 2024, we are extremely well positioned to capitalise on what continues to be a positive trajectory for our wider markets. We therefore look forward with a high degree of confidence in our people, operations, expertise and ability to continue to deliver profitable growth in the years ahead.”

Read the full report here.

PPHC Announces Interim Financial Results for the First Half of 2023

Strong growth within target margin levels; on track to meet full year expectations

Public Policy Holding Company, Inc., the leading government relations and public affairs group of companies providing a comprehensive range of advisory services, today announces its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2023 (“2023H1”).


Group revenue increased 27% to $65.7m, with a strong Q2 as encouraging trends returned following the delayed formation of the majority leadership in the United States House of Representatives in the early part of this year. PPHC continues to pursue its stated M&A strategy to add certain complementary specialisations to its portfolio, as well as to expand its footprint both in the US and into the EU and UK. The strong momentum in Q2 has positioned the Group well for the remainder of the year and the Group remains on track to meet full year expectations for FY23, with management retaining immediate and long-term confidence in the Group’s growth and margin prospects.

Group Revenue$65.7m$51.7m+27%
Underlying EBITDA$16.9m$14.4m+17%
Underlying EBITDA margin25.8%27.9%(2.2)pt
Underlying Profit after Tax$12.7m$10.7m+18%
Underlying EPS basic11.4c9.9c+15%
Underlying EPS fully diluted11.1c9.9c+12%
Interim Dividend$0.0460$0.0450+2%
Net Debt / (Cash) at period-end$9.1m-$(17.8)m$(27.0)m

Financial Highlights

  • 2023H1 Group revenue increased 27% to $65.7m (2022H1: $51.7m), with organic growth of 4%.
  • Underlying EBITDA of $16.9m is up 17% year-on-year and was achieved at a 25.8% margin, in line with the Group’s ongoing intention to manage the business between 25% and 30% at margin level.
  • Underlying Profit after Tax of $12.7m was 18% ahead of 2022H1, while Underlying EPS (basic) increased by 15%.
  • The Group continued to generate cash, supporting ongoing M&A ambitions and the wider capital allocation policy. At period-end, Net Debt totalled $9.1m (2022FY: Net Cash of $17.8m), with the movement a result of the use of debt to fund the EPS accretive acquisition of MultiState Associates, Inc. (“MultiState”) in March 2023.
  • The Board retains strong confidence in the Group’s ongoing prospects and has declared an Interim Dividend of $0.046 per Common Outstanding Share.

Operational Highlights

  • The Group advanced its strategy of supplementing organic growth with M&A, acquiring MultiState Associates on 1 March 2023. The integration process is ongoing and MultiState is performing ahead of internal expectations. Alongside the acquisition of KP Public Affairs in October 2022, the Group now has seven operating companies providing a greater range of services in more US geographies.
  • Diversification of revenue continues with the top 10 Group clients representing 8.0% of total revenue in 2023H1, versus 10.0% at the end of FY22 and 13.1% for FY21.
  • Revenue distribution by segment reflects the inclusion of new business lines following the MultiState acquisition, while existing lines remained stable: Government Relations 71% (2022H1: 73%); Public Affairs 25% (2022H1: 27%); and Diversified Services 4% (2022H1: Nil).
  • A broadening client base is supported by sustained high retention rates, with the Group now directly representing almost 40% of the Fortune 100 (and 22% of the Fortune 500), in addition to many more via their trade associations that the Group serves.
    • New Group clients include The Aluminium Association, General Electric, Hertz, Life Science Logistics, Morton’s Salt, Veterinary Medical Association and Rain Industries.
    • Client retention rate (based on # of clients) in 2023H1 was 80%, with Government Relations above 90% and Public Affairs between 65% and 70%.
    • Each of the Group’s business lines (Government Relations, Public Affairs and Diversified Services) achieved growth when compared to 2022H1.
  • The quality of PPHC’s operating companies continues to be reflected in the 2023 Lobbying Disclosure Act rankings, with Group agencies, when aggregated, topping the rankings as the US market leader in both Q1 and Q2 2023, as well as for the whole of FY22.
  • Strengthening of the management team with Roel Smits being promoted to CFO in July as part of the executive succession planning process and retention of Bill Chess as an Executive Director in the newly created position of Chief Administrative Officer.

Outlook and medium-term guidance

  • The strong performance delivered in H1 has set the Group up well for the remainder of the year.
    • The Group is on track to meet full year market expectations.
    • Revenue growth between 20% and 30%, with the FY23 organic growth rate expected to be similar to H1 and supported by the better-than-expected performance of recently acquired companies.
    • The Underlying EBITDA margin for H2 is expected to be around the same level as in H1.
  • The focus in H2 will be on driving client retention rates, new business generation and the continued cross-selling of services across the Group’s broad operating company base to support organic growth prospects.
  • The market for public affairs and professional lobbying services in key geographies remains fragmented and the Board continues to view the Group as a natural consolidator in the sector with favourable bipartisan positioning.
  • The pipeline of acquisition opportunities under development in the US, UK and Mainland Europe remains strong in an active market for the strategic communications sector. The Group is actively seeking to expand its portfolio of operating companies internationally while adding complementary specialisations.
  • The Board retains its confidence in the ongoing prospects for the Group and reiterates its medium-term guidance to achieve:
    • organic revenue growth between 5% and 10%;
    • incremental growth from future M&A; and
    • an Underlying EBITDA margin between 25% and 30%.

Stewart Hall, CEO of PPHC, commented:

“We are a very well-placed business, with increasingly diversified operating companies and growing capabilities at a time of massive change in the interplay of business and government around the world. Corporates, charities, NGOs and other client organisations are increasing their spend in the specific advisory areas that we specialise in, and our high-quality operating companies generate excellent client retention rates and provide high quality earnings.

“Even though the delayed formation of Congress slowed the start of Q1, clients returned leading to improved Q2 trading and setting the Group up well for H2. Our lobbying operations continue to be market leading in the US, consistently at the top of the Lobbying Disclosure Act rankings, while demand for our specialist public affairs advisory work continues to increase.

“The two recent acquisitions are successfully integrating and benefiting from their association with the Group.  Acquisitions are an important part of our strategy as they enable us to effectively diversify the client offering into new areas while increasing our geographical reach. This, in time, supports our ongoing ability to generate a good level of organic growth as we have greater reach and more sought-after services to cross-refer clients. The markets we operate in remain highly fragmented and we are a natural sector consolidator, with a well advanced and exciting pipeline of acquisition opportunities in the US, UK and Mainland Europe.

“Our people continue to be the lifeblood of the business, and we are proud that they consistently generate work that achieves incredible results on behalf of clients. Their knowledge and depth of experience attracts high levels of premier new business, and we now directly retain well over a fifth of the Fortune 500 as clients.

“These interim results show that in a difficult macro-economic environment, we remain well positioned to deliver good growth at target margin levels and can continue to capitalise on the clear market opportunity. The runway for growth and expansion remains significant, and we look forward to continuing to achieve for our people, clients, wider stakeholders and investors in the second half and beyond.”

Read the full results statement here.

PPHC Announces Full Year Results for 2022

Full Year Results for the year ended 31 December 2022

Strong financial performance and sustained growth, driven by robust market demand.

Public Policy Holding Company, Inc., (“PPHC”, the “Group” or the “Company”), the government relations and public affairs group providing clients with a fully integrated and comprehensive range of services, is pleased to announce its Full Year Results for the year ended 31 December 2022.

Financial Highlights:

  • Revenue of $108.8m (2021: $99.3m) reflects an increase of 9.5%, and 6.6% organic growth.
  • Underlying EBITDA of $31.2m (2021: $32.0m) is in line with guidance and was achieved at a margin of 28.7%, within our target range of 25 to 30%. This followed a truly exceptional 2021 which was driven by a combination of high pandemic-related spending and the change of control in the White House
  • Underlying Profit after tax was $23.3m (2021: $23.9m), reflecting a margin of 21.4%
  • Year-end Net Cash stood at $21.0 million, an increase of 17.9%
  • Declared a final dividend of $0.095 per Common Outstanding Share. This would take the total dividend for 2022 to $0.14 per share.

Operational Highlights:

  • Successful acquisition of California based KP Public Affairs on 1 October 2022, proving attractiveness of holding company value proposition and equity + cash offer.
  • Key talent additions into Group’s founding firms, including deepening specialisations in new/renewable energy policy, defence contracting, financial services, and trade policy, all service areas that are central to today’s policy agenda.
  • Improved client diversification, with the top 10 Group clients representing 9.6% of total revenue, down from 13.1% in 2021.
  • 2022 total clients greater than 850, up from over 730 in 2021; includes over 100 Fortune 500 clients and related trade associations.
  • Number of clients spending $100,000 or greater per year was 384, a gain of 11%, and representing 43% of our total clients.

Current Trading and Outlook:

  • MultiState Associates acquired on 1 March 2023, elevating our number of clients to over 1,000.
  • Continued growth into 2023, fuelled by ongoing policy debates over government spending and the passage of historic spending measures in 2021-22 into sectors such as healthcare, essential manufacturing, renewable/alternative energies, and infrastructure.
  • Management expects revenue to grow by 5 to 10% organically, supplemented by growth from past and future M&A transactions.
  • The Group continues to manage the business such that the Underlying EBITDA as percentage of revenue is estimated to be between 25% and 30%.
  • Continuing to build an attractive pipeline of strategic acquisition opportunities in the federal and state advocacy markets, as well as in the adjacent strategic communications and public affairs markets in the US and abroad.

PPHC is well placed to deliver continued growth, both organically and via acquisitions. We have already completed the acquisition of MultiState, expanding our service offering and opening new opportunities for collaboration between our operating businesses. We look forward to continued strategic and financial progress in 2023.

-Stewart Hall, CEO

Read the full report here.

PPHC Acquires MultiState to Broaden Client Offering and Footprint

  • $22m acquisition “fits perfectly” with PPHC strategy – PPHC CEO, Stewart Hall
  • Geographical footprint broadened to all 50 US states and across Canada
  • Enables PPHC to extend client offering into more areas, e.g. research and compliance
  • Significant cross-referring of business between MultiState and existing PPHC brands expected

The government relations and public affairs holding company PPHC is continuing to execute on its stated growth strategy and has acquired MultiState Associates, one of the largest state and local government relations specialists, for $22m. Read the full acquisition announcement here.

The deal gives PPHC a significantly expanded footprint with operations in all 50 US states as well as across Canada. It also enables PPHC to broaden its client offering given MultiState’s strength in the areas of research and compliance.

The combination of the two businesses is therefore highly complementary and a significant level of cross-referring of business between MultiState and the six other brands within PPHC’s broader network is expected. PPHC’s other brands include Crossroads Strategies, Forbes Tate Partners, Seven Letter, O’Neill & Associates, Alpine Group Partners and KP Public Affairs.

MultiState was founded in 1984 and has its headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. It has over 300 corporate clients including several Fortune 500 constituents and has gained particular expertise over the years in representing some of the world’s best-known organisations on issues of local, state, and national importance. MultiState’s 77 employees – including all senior executives – will remain with the business.

PPHC has been undergoing significant growth and acquired KP Public Affairs, the largest advocacy and PR firm in California, for $25m in October 2022 – the most recent acquisition prior to MultiState. The pipeline of potential acquisition opportunities under development remains strong and, in considering each possible deal, PPHC will continue to look to broaden its geographical footprint, both in the US and internationally, and its service offering.

Stewart Hall, CEO of PPHC, commented:

“The acquisition of MultiState fits perfectly with our strategy of broadening our geographic footprint into key US state capitals and metropolitan areas, while extending our offering by adding key service capabilities in research and compliance. MultiState has a talented team and its strategic capabilities will solidify PPHC’s leadership position as the largest and most comprehensive public policy firm in the US. Linking our well-established businesses in Washington DC, Sacramento, California and Boston, Massachusetts to MultiState’s network in 50 states makes the Group uniquely suited to support corporate clients in the most complex risks and opportunities they face.

“Our growth in the resilient and fragmented $17+bn US strategic communications market is driven by increased inter-connectedness of federal, state and international policies and risk exposure. I am confident that our combined businesses will benefit greatly from new capabilities, new geographies and new client opportunities.”

Joseph Crosby, CEO of MultiState, commented:

“PPHC is bringing together highly specialised government relations businesses at a scale that’s never been seen. This acquisition marks a significant milestone during​​ ​​​MultiState’s 40th year in business as well as for each of my talented partners and colleagues.  It also marks a milestone for our clients and the industry, as federal and state policy issues are evermore interdependent and require the professionalism and seamless integration that only PPHC and MultiState now offer.”

PPHC announces admission to trading on AIM and first day of dealings

PPHC, a leading bi-partisan, full-service US government affairs business, announces the admission of its entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital to trading on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange. Admission will take place and dealings will commence at 8.00 am GMT today under the ticker PPHC and ISIN US7444301094.

Stewart Hall, CEO of PPHC, said:

“The level of support we have received from high quality institutional investors is a great endorsement of the strength of our business. Admission to AIM and the funds raised will support plans to further scale our proven business platform and we look forward to delivering on that strategy.”