Dignity has revealed that its underlying operating profit for the 13 week period ended 26 March 2021, increased 35% to £26.1m from £19.4m the previous year.
The group’s profit was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and the 27% increase in the amount of deaths to 204,000 from 161,000 in 2020.
Revenue also grew 14% to £94.7m compared with £83.1m in the first quarter of last year, as the group performed 23,800 funerals in the UK increasing from 20,000 in 2020.
The company also conducted 22,600 cremations compared with 18,600 in 2020 which represented a market share of 11.1%.
In addition, the sale of pre-arranged funeral plans “exceeded expectations” in the first quarter, resulting in 571,000 active pre-arranged funeral plans compared with 558,000 in December 2020 and 532,000 at the end of March 2020.
Gary Channon, executive chairman of Dignity, said: “As the limits on mourner numbers begin to ease, we expect to see a change in the services we are able to offer bereaved people and look forward to helping those who have lost someone say goodbye in a personal and meaningful way.
“As we navigate out of the pandemic, and in light of regulatory changes in our industry, our hope is to lead positive change in our sector and become the true market leader with an unrivalled focus on quality, standards and choice.”
He added: “I would like to thank all of our employees for their hard work and dedication over the last year in the most challenging of circumstances, and look forward to working alongside them as we move into Dignity’s next phase of growth together.”