Business

Dignity’s profits drop as funeral price war continues

Funeral provider Dignity has seen a decline in revenue and profits in its preliminary results for the 52 weeks to 28 December 2018.

Describing the year as one of “radical change”, the company’s revenue decreased by 3% to £315.6m from £324m while its underlying operating profit saw a 23% drop to £80.2m. In 2017, this figure was £104.6m.

The company said its funeral market share increased slightly during the year, and it saw 599,000 deaths as expected.

In January last year, Dignity reduced the price of a simple funeral by 25% and froze the price of a traditional funeral. This resulted in its average income per funeral falling from £3,222 to £2,973.

Mike McCollum, chief executive of Dignity, said: “2018 marked the beginning of a period of radical change for Dignity. We reduced our funeral prices, created a broader range of choices for clients and embarked on plans to transform the business by the end of 2021.

“Our vision is to lead the funeral sector in terms of quality, standards and value-for-money. To achieve this we are building a more coherent, cohesive and technology-enabled business, one geared to meeting the changing needs of our customers. I am pleased with the progress we made during the year, we built momentum and our Transformation Plan is on track. A lot of work remains to be done, but I am confident that with our highly experienced staff and the new transformation expertise we have brought in, we will achieve our goals.”

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