Dignity plc

Dignity plc Preliminary results for the 52 week period ended 27 December 2013

(For a review of Dignity Prepaid Funeral plans, click the link.)

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 27 December 2013.

Financial highlights 52 week Period ended 27 December 2013 52 week Period ended 28 December 2012 Increase per cent
Revenue (£million) 256.7 229.6 12
Underlying operating profit(a) (£million) 78.4 69.4 13
Underlying profit before tax(a)(£million) 52.9 46.1 15
Underlying earnings per share(a) (pence) 72.1 62.8 15
Cash generated from operations(b) (£million) 94.2 83.3 13
Operating profit (£million) 75.1 68.7 9
Profit before tax (£million) 49.6 45.4 9
Basic earnings per share (pence) 72.8 65.1 12
Interim dividend paid in the period(c,d) (pence) 5.36 n/a
Final dividend proposed in the period(e) (pence) 11.83 10.75 10
Return of Cash (£million) 61.9 n/a

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

(b) Cash generated from operations excludes external transaction costs and exceptional pension contributions.

(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) An interim dividend was not paid separately in 2013, but was instead included within the £1.08 Return of Cash per Ordinary Share paid August 2013.

(e) The final dividend in 2013 is the proposed dividend expected to be approved at the annual general meeting on 5 June 2014. The 2012 final dividend is the dividend declared and paid in 2013.

Highlights

  • Tenth consecutive year of operating profit growth since flotation in 2004;
  • Strong operating performance by all three operating divisions;
  • Profits continue to be converted to cash;
  • Customer satisfaction remains at very high levels, with 99 per cent of families saying we met or exceeded their expectations and 98 per cent saying they would recommend us;
  • £58.3 million invested in the Yew Acquisition and a further £3.4 million on other funeral acquisitions, adding a further 45 funeral locations and two crematoria to the Group’s portfolio;
  • The Yew Acquisition, completed in January 2013, has performed in line with the Board’s expectations;
  • 12 satellite locations opened within the funeral business;
  • Memorial sales remain robust;
  • Another strong year of pre-arranged funeral plan sales, with unfulfilled pre-arranged funeral plans increasing to 323,000; and
  • £61.9 million of cash returned to shareholders (£1.08 pence per share) in August 2013.

Mike McCollum, Chief Executive of Dignity plc commented:

“I am very pleased with the performance of the Group. Client service remains exceptional with 99 per cent of families saying we met or exceeded their expectations. Our largest acquisition since flotation has integrated well and is performing in line with our expectations. Our core businesses have also produced a strong performance, delivering robust operating profit growth in the year.

The Board remains confident in the Group’s prospects and considers its well tested strategy is still appropriate in the current market. As expected, 2014 has started quietly, however the Board’s expectations for 2014 remain positive and unchanged.”

 

Dignity plc update.