Preliminary results for the 52 week period ended 25 December 2020

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 25 December 2020.

Financial highlights 52 week period ended 25 December 2020 52 week period ended 27 December 2019 restated Increase/
(decrease) per cent
Underlying revenue (£million) 314.1 301.3 4
Underlying operating profit (£million) 55.7 63.3 (12)
Underlying profit before tax (£million) 30.7 37.7 (19)
Underlying earnings per share (pence) 46.6 60.6 (23)
Underlying cash generated from operations (£million) 76.4 71.8 6
Revenue (£million) 357.5 338.9 5
Operating profit (£million) 15.9 44.8 (65)
(Loss)/profit before tax (£million) (19.6) 44.1  
Basic (loss)/earnings per share (pence) (51.0) 61.2  
Cash generated from operations (£million) 62.7 64.6 (3)
Number of deaths 663,000 584,000 14

Prior year adjustment
A prior year restatement has been made to the magnitude of £4.3 million to correct the 2019 taxation charge and corresponding corporation tax liability. This follows the finalisation of the Group’s detailed corporate interest restriction return and an increase to the Group’s interest disallowance as a result of the inclusion of the fair value movements on the Trusts debt investments.

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 application of IFRS 15 and adoption of IFRS 16, all 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 50 to 53.

Key points

  • COVID-19 directly contributed to a 14 per cent increase in the total UK 2020 annual death-toll of 663,000
  • Lower average revenues due primarily to the COVID-19 restrictions imposed by Government
  • Operating performance robust, despite the pandemic
  • Crematoria and pre-need divisions performing well
  • The refocusing of the investment management strategy for the pre-need Trusts will conclude in the second quarter of this year
  • The Group welcomes the recommendations from the CMA's Final Decision Report
  • The Group’s root and branch review is scheduled to conclude in the second quarter of 2021
  • Proposed regulation of pre-arranged funeral plans sector by the Financial Conduct Authority expected Summer 2022 with the outcome of the FCA proposals expected during quarter three 2021


Clive Whiley, Chairman of Dignity plc, commented:

“During 2020, we have continued to be focused and resilient in the light of many changes, however the business has remained robust.

Whilst COVID-19 featured heavily in our day-to-day activities into the first quarter of 2021, we did not lose sight of the numerous project work-streams initiated in the last year, aimed at affording the Board the time and collateral necessary to allow the business to self-heal, without recourse to dilutive funding initiatives.

In a unique and challenging year, it is the dedication of our staff that has enabled continued delivery of our services, supported by a refreshed strategy and management team. Our people are fundamental to both the Group’s success and sustainability and I would like to thank them for their significant contribution, resilience and commitment to service during what has been an exceptional time for society, bereaved families, our people and our business.”

For further information please contact:

Clive Whiley, Executive Chairman  
Dean Moore, Interim Chief Financial Officer  
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

Dignity’s preliminary results and corporate presentation are available at https://www.dignityplc.co.uk/investors/.


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