… Alongside MTN, Dangote, and Flour Mills of Nigeria

Blackhouse Media has made its debut on the Financial Times’ annual ranking of the fastest-growing African companies. The leading public relations and communications consultancy is the only communications services firm on the latest list of Africa’s Top 100 fastest-growing companies.

In selecting organisations on the highly-acclaimed list, FT, one of the world’s leading financial and business newspapers, considered revenue of at least US $100,000 generated in 2018 and US $1.5 million in 2021. The continent-wide research to compile the list was carried out by FT in partnership with Statista.

Some of the organisations on the list this year include Nigeria’s Afex and Moniepoint, who rank as number 1 and 2. FT ranked 25 other Nigerian companies, including Paga Group, Food Co, Dangote, Sterling Bank, Julius Berger, Vitafoam, and Flour Mills of Nigeria. Leading African firms that made the list include MTN Group, Altech, Purple Group, Spur Corp. Ltd, Naspers Ltd, and others. BHM debuted at number 87.

“It’s a big deal for us, not only because we are the only communications services company on the list, but because we are in great company – right there with some of the biggest brands on the continent – many that we look up to and have had the privilege of working for. It’s humbling and inspiring. The plan is to deliver the first locally-built international communications services company from Africa – a truly global player committed to the continent. And each passing day, each recognition, each project, each added country convinces me we are on track,” said Ayeni Adekunle, who founded the company in 2006.

BHM currently operates in Lagos, Nigeria; as well as Edinburgh and London in the UK. Last year, through the ID Africa imprint, the company expanded into Kenya and Ghana, with plans to set up in other African countries later this year. A US operation is also to begin later in August.

“BHM is a case study of building a successful agency and professional services organisation in the public relations market. The recognition by The Financial Times of BHM is another important metric of the growing maturity of public relations as a professional management discipline’’, says Stephen Waddington, a BHM director and past president of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), the world’s only Royal Chartered body for public relations professionals.

BHM employs around 100 people in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and the UK. Its clients include The Macallan, Heineken/NB PLC, MultiChoice/DSTV, Showmax, MTN Nigeria Communications PLC, Honeywell Group, and Shoprite.

FT and Statista created the FT Ranking to encapsulate a time of corporate dynamism at the height of the pandemic. The growth period considered for the recently released list falls between 2018 and 2021 when the world was still reeling from the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Financial Times noted, “The list was compiled with Statista, a research company. It ranked companies by their compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in revenue between 2018 and 2021. We hope that the ranking offers a helpful guide to the companies and sectors managing to do business in a complex and fast-changing environment. Future years will reveal just how enduring their business models were”.

The publication notes that BHM has experienced an absolute growth rate of 49.56% and a compound annual growth rate of 14.36%, with revenue increasing from $2.7m in 2018 to $4m in 2021 and employee numbers increased by 17.86%

Data and research underpin the communications consultancy’s work. It recently published a research paper about the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on the African diaspora living in the UK. Two reports on the African PR industry and the African entertainment industry are planned for publication later this year.

Investment in its communities is a critical value for BHM. The firm created and sponsored an annual World PR Day on 16 July 2021 to promote the significance of public relations to management. Last year, the event was adopted and recognised by 30 public relations associations and 10,000 practitioners in 60 countries.

Meanwhile, BHM has also been recognised as a top 5 fastest growing consultancy in EMEA_APAC by Provoke Media and earned 17 nominations and two wins in two years at the SABRE Awards.

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