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Dignity ahead of Board’s expectations

Funeral service provider, Dignity, has had better results for the first half of 2016 than the Boards expected.

Underlying operating profits in the second quarter of 2016 are £0.6 million higher than the same period in 2015. Its full year expectations remain unchanged.

The number of abnormally large amount of deaths in 2015 has been credited for past success.

The Group continues to expect this unprecedented increase in deaths to reverse in 2016. Its current assumption remains that the number of deaths in 2016 will be broadly comparable to 2014.

Although as expected underlying operating performance in the first half of the year was lower than in 2015, underlying operating profit was approximately 22 percent higher than the same period in 2014 (when the Group reported £45.6 million) and underlying earnings per share was approximately 45 percent higher (when the Group reported 46.7 pence).

The Group has acquired six funeral locations for an aggregate investment of £5.4 million and has opened five satellite locations in the period to 24 June 2016.

Since this date, the Group has acquired one funeral location and opened three satellite locations.

In addition and as previously announced on 28 June 2016, the Group completed the acquisition of three freehold crematoria from Funeral Services Limited (trading as Co-op Funeralcare) as part of an agreement to acquire five locations from them for consideration of £43 million.

On 22 July 2016, the Group completed the acquisition of one of the two leasehold crematoria from Funeral Services Limited.

Mike McCollum, chief executive of Dignity plc commented: “The Group has performed well in the first half of 2016 and traded slightly ahead of our expectations. The Group’s expectations for the full year remain unchanged.”

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