Interim results for the 26 week period ended 26 June 2020

Dignity plc (Dignity, the Company or the Group), the UK's only listed provider of funeral related services, announces its unaudited interim results for the 26 week period ended 26 June 2020.

  26 week
26 June
26 week
28 June
per cent
Underlying revenue (£million) 169.1 155.3 9
Underlying operating profit (£million) 39.0 36.7 6
Underlying profit before tax (£million) 26.5 23.9 11
Underlying earnings per
share (pence)
41.8 37.8 11
Underlying cash generated from operations (£million) 54.9 41.3 33
Revenue (£million) 197.1 176.0 12
Operating profit (£million) 42.7 35.2 21
(Loss)/profit before tax (£million) (13.6) 58.3  
Basic (loss)/earnings per share (pence) (20.6) 95.0  
Cash generated from operations (£million) 40.4 39.2 3
Number of deaths 368,000
300,000 23

Prior year adjustments
As described in the Annual Report & Accounts for the period to 27 December 2019, the Group has changed its accounting policy in respect of certain pre-arranged funeral plan trusts and revised its adoption of IFRS 15 accordingly. These changes were applied retrospectively and therefore certain statutory amounts in respect of the 26 week period ended 28 June 2019 have been restated on the same basis.

Alternative performance measures (APMs)
All measures marked as underlying in the table above and throughout this announcement are alternative performance measures. 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.

Key points

  • Number of deaths significantly higher than average principally due to COVID-19
  • Funeral market share broadly stable
  • Average income per funeral materially lower due to restrictions in client choices
  • Strategic review on target notwithstanding impact of COVID-19
  • CMA Provisional Decision Report due by end of August
  • Business has prepared for possibility of lower volumes in coming years than original ONS expectations

Clive Whiley, Executive Chairman of Dignity plc, commented:

"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. Their professionalism and flexibility have been crucial to providing respectful, high quality care to the deceased and their families notwithstanding the daily obstacles presented by the pandemic: whether it be high levels of colleague absence, the costly challenge of sourcing personal protective equipment or managing the pressure on mortuary space.

Their resilience leaves me in no doubt that the conclusion of our root and branch review of the business will ensure the Group is ready for any challenge in the future. In the interim, our focus on controlling discretionary spending will enhance covenant headroom, which together with appropriate cash management will provide the time necessary to implement those plans without the need for external capital.

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."

For more information

Clive Whiley, Executive Chairman
Steve Whittern, Finance Director
Dignity plc
+44 (0) 207 466 5000

Richard Oldworth
Chris Lane
Tilly Abraham

+44 (0) 207 466 5000

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