More Deaths Boost Profits

Dignity Interim results for the 26 week period ended 26 June 2015

Funeral Plan Quotes

Funeral Plan Quotes

Dignity plc (Dignity or the Group), the UK’s only listed provider of funeral related services, announces its unaudited interim results for the 26 week period ended 26 June 2015. (See our Dignity funeral plan review.)

26 week period ended 26 June 201526 week period ended 27 June 2014Increase per cent
Revenue (£million)158.7133.119.2
Underlying operating profit(a) (£million)59.745.630.9
Underlying profit before tax(a) (£million)46.532.344.0
Underlying earnings per share(b) (pence)74.046.758.5
Cash generated from operations(c) (£million)71.053.333.2
Operating profit (£million)58.244.829.9
Profit before tax (£million)45.031.542.9
Basic earnings per share (pence)71.045.257.1
Interim dividend (pence)7.146.4910.0
Number of deaths317,000280,00013.2

(a) Underlying profit is calculated as profit excluding profit (or loss) on sale of fixed assets and external transaction costs.

(b) Underlying earnings per share is calculated as profit on ordinary activities after taxation, before profit (or loss) on sale of fixed assets, external transaction costs and exceptional items (all net of tax), divided by the weighted average number of Ordinary Shares in issue in the period.

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

 

The number of deaths was 13 per cent higher in the first half of 2015 compared with the same period in 2014, maintaining the high level noted in the Group’s Q1 trading update. As a direct consequence, underlying operating profits were very strong at £59.7 million (2014: £45.6 million), an increase of 31 per cent.

The Group has acquired 46 funeral locations and has opened one satellite location since the start of the year, representing an aggregate investment of £47.2 million. This includes the acquisition of 36 locations from Laurel Funerals for a consideration of £38 million, which completed on 13 July 2015.

As a result of the high number of deaths in the first half of 2015, the Board anticipates that results for the full year will be ahead of its expectations. Its expectations for 2016 and beyond remain positive but unchanged as there is a strong possibility that the number of deaths in 2016 may be significantly lower following the very high number of deaths in 2015.

Mike McCollum, Chief Executive of Dignity plc commented:

“This has been a very strong half year for the Group. Client service standards remain excellent and I am delighted with our performance. We have invested £47.2 million in acquisitions so far this year from cash on our balance sheet which should help to create further value for our shareholders in the future.”