Interim results for the 26 week period ended 28 June 2019

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 28 June 2019.

  26 week
28 June
26 week
29 June
per cent
Underlying revenue (£million) 155.3 174.7 11
Underlying operating profit (£million) 36.7 56.4 35
Underlying profit before tax (£million) 23.9 43.4 45
Underlying earnings per
share (pence)
37.8 69.4 46
Underlying cash generated from operations (£million) 41.3 65.6 37
Revenue (£million) 153.3 174.7 12
Operating profit (£million) 28.0 51.5 46
Profit before tax (£million) 14.9 38.5 61
Basic earnings per share (pence) 23.0 61.4 63
Cash generated from operations (£million) 36.0 62.6 42
Number of deaths 300,000
324,000 7
Interim dividend (pence) -
8.64 n/a

Alternative performance measures
All measures marked as underlying in the table above and throughout this Interim Report are alternative performance measures. The reasons for the Group's use of alternative performance measures, definitions and where relevant, reconciliations are provided in the section on alternative performance measures at the end of this Interim Report.

Comparative information presented on a statutory basis is not comparable due to the effects of adopting IFRS 15. To aid a user of the financial statements, for the foreseeable future, the Group has amended its definition of underlying revenue and underlying operating profit so that the effects of adopting IFRS 15 are removed.

Key points

  • Number of deaths significantly lower than originally expected leading to lower financial performance
  • Funeral market share stable since 2018 year end
  • Transformation Plan on track and key branch pilots commencing in the second half of the year
  • Strong market share performance by crematoria business
  • Simplicity continues to grow strongly
  • Company fully engaged with the CMA sector investigation
  • The Group welcomes regulation of pre-paid funerals announced in March 2019
  • Temporary cessation of dividends

Mike McCollum, Chief Executive of Dignity plc commented:

"While the number of deaths in the first half meant that our financial performance for the period was lower than originally anticipated, we remain confident that the changes we are introducing will generate sustainable growth in the medium to long-term. Longer-term expectations, based on the ONS forecasts remain unchanged, with increases in the long-term number of deaths, reaching approximately 700,000 per year by 2040.

Building on the momentum and significant progress already made in the past 12 months, our Transformation Plan is now entering a new phase. In the second half of the year we will begin transforming our branches, starting with a three network pilot programme. As the Board always anticipated, the transformation of our branches will be radical, complicated and challenging. We have over 800 branches, with each network reflecting a range of differing local and historical approaches. Our staff will be working in materially different ways and we fully expect there to be refinements during the piloting process which is likely to take a number of months. We are committed to ensuring that the design of our branch model is right before we embark on what will be a careful roll-out across the entire network, which we expect to start in 2020.

Across the business, we are pleased with the development of our Simplicity offering which is now available in three forms. We are making good progress with our digital capability, which is crucial in order to secure existing business and acquire new customers.

As a Board we are determined to seize the current opportunity to create a business that is clearly differentiated from the competition and gives customers a clear choice. We are building a more coherent, cohesive and technology-enabled business, one geared to meet the changing needs of our customers while remaining focused on excellent client service. We look forward to delivering our vision to lead the funeral sector in terms of quality, standards and value for money."

For more information

Mike McCollum, Chief Executive
Steve Whittern, Finance Director
Dignity plc
+44 (0) 207 466 5000

Richard Oldworth
Chris Lane
Tilly Abraham

+44 (0) 207 466 5000


A presentation for analysts and institutional investors will be held today at 9.00am (BST) at Buchanan Communications, 107 Cheapside, London EC2V 6DN. All participants must be pre-registered in order to attend the meeting.

A live audio webcast and conference call facility will be available. A webcast replay facility will be available after the analyst meeting via the same link.

Webcast https://webcasting.buchanan.uk.com/broadcast/5d039bf4221579216107de01
Conference call

UK Toll: 0333 300 0804
UK Toll Free: 0800 358 9473
Participant PIN code: 98211659#

(listen only)

URL for international dial in numbers:


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