Dignity sees revenues increase despite fewer deaths

The group said the elevated death rate was the ‘main driver’ of the increase in profitability but it ‘continued to show a decline’ in market share in both funerals and crematoria.

Dignity PLC has reported a 1.1% rise in underlying revenue in the 39 weeks to September 24 to £237m, up from 234.5m the previous year. 

The group said “solid trading” continued into the third quarter, with the death rate 10% ahead of Q3 2020 but 3% down for the year to September 2021, compared to the same period in 2020.

Additionally, Dignity has also seen its sales of memorials in its crematoria grounds increase 33% to £10.6m compared to £8m in 2020 as the group’s crematoria grounds have been fully open for all of 2021 compared to being closed in the second quarter of 2020.

However, in the first three quarters of 2021, the group conducted 2,600 fewer cremations than in September 2020, down from 57,500 to 54,900. Dignity said this represents a market share of 11.4% in 2021 compared to 11.5% in September 2020.

In addition, Dignity conducted 6.15% fewer funerals in the UK in the first three quarters of 2021, having conducted 57,900 funerals in 2021 compared to 61,700 September 2020.

It also revealed its underlying operating profit decreased 9.8% to £43.4m compared with £48.1m the previous year.

Gary Channon, chief executive, said: “There is a huge amount of positive change going on at Dignity as we position ourselves to be a growing and thriving business that serves families for their end-of-life needs. 

“I am really pleased with the progress so far and the general enthusiasm with which this is being tackled internally. We will have a lot more to say at the year end and look forward to sharing an update then.”

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