Preliminary results for the 52 week period ended 27 December 2019

Dignity plc (Dignity, the Company or the Group), the UK’s only listed provider of funeral related services, announces its preliminary results for the 52 week period ended 27 December 2019.

Financial highlights 52 week period ended 27 December 2019 52 week period ended 28 December 2018 restated Decrease per cent
Underlying revenue (£million) 301.3 315.6 5
Underlying operating profit (£million) 63.3 80.2 21
Underlying profit before tax (£million) 37.7 54.4 31
Underlying earnings per share (pence) 60.6 85.8 29
Underlying cash generated from operations (£million) 71.8 101.9 30
Revenue (£million) 338.9 353.7 4
Operating profit (£million) 44.8 75.9 41
Profit/ (loss) before tax (£million) 44.1 (18.0)  
Basic earnings/ (loss) per share (pence) 69.8 (34.0)  
Cash generated from operations (£million) 64.6 104.2 38
Interim dividend paid in the period (pence) - 8.64  
Final dividend proposed in respect of the period (pence) - 15.74  
Number of deaths 584,000 599,000 3

Prior year adjustments

The Group has changed its accounting policy in respect of certain pre-arranged funeral plan trusts and the adoption of IFRS 15. This has been applied retrospectively and therefore certain statutory amounts have been restated. See note 1 for further details.

Alternative performance measures (APMs)

The Board believes that whilst statutory reporting measures provide financial performance of the Group under GAAP, APMs are necessary to enable users of the financial statements to fully understand the trading performance and financial position of the business. The APMs provided are aligned with those used in the day-to-day management of the business and allow for greater comparability across periods. For this reason, the APMs provided exclude the impact of consolidating the Trusts and the changes which relate to the adoption of IFRS 15, both of which are considered to mask the underlying trading performance of the Group, as well as non-underlying items comprising certain non-recurring and non-trading transactions. Further detail may be found on pages 49 to 50.

Key points

  • Operating performance consistent with market expectations
  • Crematoria and pre-need divisions performing well
  • Number of deaths lower than anticipated at the start of the year
  • Changing competitive landscape has lowered average income per funeral as expected
  • Further downward pressure on average income per funeral and cremation expected
  • The CMA investigation could materially impact the industry and the Group
  • Funeral market share showing positive response to changes in proposition
  • Group welcomes proposed regulation of pre-arranged funeral plans
  • Accounting policy changes impacting statutory results, but alternative performance measures unaffected
  • The Group is adapting and pausing certain aspects of the Transformation Plan pending the outcome of the CMA investigation which will delay anticipated cost savings

Clive Whiley, Chairman of Dignity plc, commented:

“2019 witnessed a year of unprecedented change in the funeral industry. Whilst we were pleased with the progress we made and the financial performance we delivered in light of the competitive environment, we need to be cautious in the coming months until the CMA’s conclusions are finalised.

Their report could materially impact the industry and the size and shape of our business. We are therefore for now, delaying key aspects of our Transformation Plan. However, the need to maintain the highest levels of customer service through modern, efficient ways of working remains.”

For further information please contact:

Mike McCollum, Chief Executive  
Steve Whittern, Finance Director  
Dignity plc +44 (0)20 7466 5000
Richard Oldworth  
Chris Lane  
Tilly Abraham  
Buchanan +44 (0)20 7466 5000
www.buchanan.uk.com dignity@buchanan.uk.com


An analysts' briefing will be held at 9:00 am this morning at the offices of Buchanan, 107 Cheapside, London, EC2V 6DN. A live audio webcast and conference call facility will be available.

Webcast http://webcasting.buchanan.uk.com/broadcast/5e3c20db397af40afa52cbbb
Conference call UK Toll: +44 3333000804
(Listen only) UK Toll Free: 08003589473
  Participant PIN code: 84816367#
  URL for international dial in numbers:

The webcast link and conference call will be listen only. A webcast replay facility will be available after the analyst meeting via the same link.

Dignity’s preliminary results and corporate presentation are available at


For further information, please contact dignity@buchanan.uk.com


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