Dignity HY profits up 11%

Funeral provider Dignity has reported an 11% increase in profit-before-tax to £26.5m in the first half of its financial year, compared with £23.9m in 2019.

In the 26 weeks to 26 June, underlying revenues increased 9% to £169.1m compared with £155.3m in the same period last year.  

Dignity reported a 6% increase in operating profit to £39m compared with £36.7m in 2019.

The funeral service provider revealed it conducted more funerals due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, the average price per funeral decreased as people opted for simpler services during lockdown.

Due to the pandemic, funerals faced many limitations such as a cap on the number of people attending, stopping church services and limousines for mourners.

Clive Whiley, executive chairman of Dignity said: “The turbulent trading conditions experienced in recent months have reinforced the need for businesses to be managed proactively in order to respond promptly to unexpected events. 

“In particular, I would like to pay tribute to our staff, whose tireless efforts to support each other and our clients during these testing times has gone some way to allowing adequate closure for the bereaved.”

Dignity also reported a 23% increase in the number of deaths, however, it reported a 3% increase in cash generated from operations to £40.4m compared with £39.2m in the same period last year.

Whiley added: “With the exception of business rates relief, we expect to complete 2020 without any direct financial support from shareholders, nor indeed Her Majesty’s government, without furloughing any employee and having reinvested any benefit from business rates relief in the protection of the welfare of our staff and our clients.”

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