Dignity plc Preliminary results

Dignity plc Preliminary results for the 52 week period ended 28 December 2012.

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Dignity plc (Dignity or the Group), the UK’s only listed provider of funeral related services, announces its preliminary results for the 52 week period ended 28 December 2012.

Financial highlights52 week Period ended 28 December 201252 week Period ended 30 December 2011Increase per cent
Revenue (£million)229.6210.19
Underlying operating profit(a) (£million)69.464.58
Underlying profit before tax(a)(£million)46.141.611
Underlying earnings per share(a) (pence)62.855.114
Cash generated from operations(b)(£million)83.374.212
Operating profit (£million)68.763.29
Profit before tax (£million)45.440.313
Basic earnings per share (pence)65.162.64
Interim dividend(c)(pence)5.364.8710
Final dividend(d)(pence)10.759.7710

(a) Underlying profit and underlying earnings are calculated as profit excluding profit on sale of fixed assets, external transaction costs and exceptional items.

(b) Cash generated from operations excludes external transaction costs.

(c) The interim dividend represents the interim dividend that was declared and paid in the period out of earnings generated in the same period.

(d) The final dividend in 2012 is the proposed dividend expected to be approved at the annual general meeting on 6 June 2013. The 2011 final dividend is the dividend declared and paid in 2012.

Highlights

  • Strong operating performance by all three operating divisions;
  • Profits continue to be converted to cash;
  • Funeral operations continue to deliver very high levels of customer satisfaction. Having received the final invoice, 99 per cent of families say we met or exceeded their expectations and 98 per cent say they would recommend us;
  • £10.6 million invested to acquire 18 funeral locations during the period;
  • 19 satellite locations opened within the funeral business and the project as a whole, which commenced in 2010, broke even in the year in line with the project plan;
  • Two crematoria became operational in 2012; and
  • Another strong year of pre-arranged funeral plan sales, with unfulfilled pre-arranged funeral plans increasing to 290,000.

Acquisition of Yew Holdings Limited

On 25 January 2013, the Group completed the acquisition of Yew Holdings Limited for cash consideration of £58.3 million. Funding for the acquisition, associated external transaction costs and anticipated one off capital expenditure of £2.5 million was through a combination of a £24.2 million equity placing and £39.8 million of additional debt facilities.

Mike McCollum, Chief Executive of Dignity plc commented:

“I am pleased with the performance of the Group. Client satisfaction remains exceptionally high, underlying operating profits increased eight per cent and underlying earnings per share increased 14 per cent. Each operating division has made good progress in the year and is well placed for the future.

The Board remains confident in the Group’s prospects and its expectations for 2013 remain positive and unchanged.”