Dignity, the UK’s only listed funeral firm, has reported a 30% loss in profits during the first three quarters of its financial year, driven by a “significantly lower” number of deaths.
Profits decreased from £68.6m to £47.9m this year, as well as underlying revenue which fell by 8% from £244.2m in 2018 to £225.4m..
Diginity said that its operating performance in the third quarter was “in line” with the board’s expectations, driven by robust funeral market share and average income in line with the board’s expectations.
Its operating performance in the year to date was “consistent” with the board’s expectations allowing for the “significantly lower number of deaths”, particularly in the first half of the year.
It added the board’s expectations for 2019 remain unchanged from the time of the interim results in July.
Dignity said looking forward operating performance in 2020 will “rely heavily” on the number of deaths, which “may or may not revert to higher levels witnessed in previous years” compared to the 576,000 seen in the last twelve months to September 2019.
Mike McCollum, chief executive of Dignity, said: “I am pleased with the Group’s progress so far this year.
“Although deaths are lower, market share remains robust, the Transformation Plan remains on track and our journey to build a more modern technologically enabled business that offers clients a high-quality service at a variety of price points remains firmly intact.”