Strategic Update and Directorate Changes

Dignity plc (Dignity, the Company, or the Group), the UK’s only listed provider of funeral related services, announces the following strategic update and board changes.

Strategic Update

As highlighted in the third quarter trading update announced on 9 November, whilst 2020 has proved to be a unique and challenging year, the Board has not lost sight of the need to drive the ongoing root & branch review through to an economic conclusion.

Accordingly, given that our over-arching desire to grow sustainable long-term market share could have ramifications for short-term performance, we are working closely with our largest shareholder in order to endorse the combination of compelling propositions and price points to best leverage the strengths of our existing resources.

A further update will be provided at the Group's preliminary results in March 2021.

Board Changes

  • Steve Whittern, Finance Director, has resigned from the board with immediate effect and will leave the Company on 31 December 2020 to pursue other interests;
  • Richard Portman, Corporate Services Director has separately notified the Company of his intention to leave on 31 December 2020 and he has stepped down from the Board with immediate effect.

In light of the above developments, the board of Dignity has taken the opportunity to consider the most appropriate structure for the board going forward and has determined as follows:

  • Dean Moore, who was appointed to the Board as a Non-Executive Director in March this year, will become Interim Chief Financial Officer upon Steve Whittern’s departure. Dean is a chartered accountant with extensive public company experience having previously been Chief Financial Officer at Cineworld Group plc, N Brown Group plc, T&S Stores plc and Graham Group plc;

The Company is also embarking upon a process to identify a suitable candidate for the longer-term finance director position.

  • Andrew Judd, currently director of the group’s funeral operations and a member of the Operating Board, has agreed to join the board as an additional executive director with immediate effect. Andrew’s day-to-day responsibilities will remain unchanged.
  • The board has also determined to create an operating board role of chief operating officer. The intention is to identify a suitable candidate for this role as soon as practicable. In the interim, Richard Portman’s current functions will be transitioned to report to Clive Whiley, who remains Executive Chairman.

The Company will also continue its search for an appropriate candidate for the role of chief executive officer, coterminous with the outcome of the strategic review.

Finally, the Company will now commence a search for an additional Non-Executive Director, in order to maintain an appropriate balance of independent Non-Executive Directors and suitable representation for the Board committees until Dean Moore completes his Interim CFO role.

Commenting on the changes, Clive Whiley, Executive Chairman said:

"We would like to thank both Steve Whittern and Richard Portman for their contribution to the Company over the last twenty years and wish them well in their future endeavours. We also welcome Andrew Judd's appointment in order to provide funeral operations experience to the main board. Finally, I look forward to working with Dean on completing the transformation strategy and safeguarding the future success of the business.”

There are no details required to be disclosed under Listing Rule 9.6.13R.


For further information please contact:

Clive Whiley, Executove Chairman  
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

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