Dignity prospers from funerals

Funeral service provider Dignity's third quarter results demonstrate that death in the UK is still a growth business if you know how to cater for it.

Funeral service provider Dignity's third quarter results demonstrate that death in the UK is still a growth business if you know how to cater for it.

Revenues of £169.4m for the third quarter were up 8.7% on the same period a year previously, while underlying profit was 10.3% ahead at £53.4m. Much of this was driven by pre-arranged funeral plan sales, and it expects the pre-arranged funeral business to continue to make progress next year.

Mike McCollum, Chief Executive of Dignity commented: "Our outlook for 2012 remains positive and our overall expectations for 2013 remain unchanged."

During the year Dignity has increased its number of crematoria from 35 to 37 and growth is even more marked in its funeral business.

Since the group's last results announcement on July 31st 2012, 10 funeral locations have been acquired (for an investment of £5.6m) and nine new satellite locations have been opened. This brings the total number of funeral locations acquired to 18 (for a total investment of £10.8m) and new satellite locations opened to 18 since the start of the year.

The only negative was provided by the comment that "The trust funds should remain fully funded despite historically low bond yields. However, any improvement in marketing profit in 2013 may be offset by a reduction in or cancellation of recoveries of surplus from the trusts. Such recoveries have been £1.5m in each of the last six years."

CM

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