Funerals group Dignity swings to a loss

Funerals and crematoria group Dignity has swung to a pre-tax loss for the first half of 2022 after market normalisation post-Covid-19 and a significant change to the pricing and product mix.

Emstrey Crematorium and Cemetery at Shrewsbury
Emstrey Crematorium and Cemetery at Shrewsbury

The firm, which operates crematoria at Lichfield, Stourport, Telford and Shrewsbury, swung to a pre-tax loss of £156 million for the 26 weeks to July 1 2022 from a profit of £50.5 million a year earlier.

Underlying operating profit for the period was £14.7 million compared with £37.8 million. Meanwhile, revenue was £166.9 million compared with £189 million.

The company said it booked a total impairment of £62.9 million of non-current assets following slower funeral market-share growth and more branch direct cremations.

Kate Davidson, chief executive, said: “Over the past few years our business has risen to the challenges presented by Covid-19.

"We have continued to deliver excellent customer service whilst also implementing our new strategy as well as preparing and achieving FCA regulatory approval for new funeral plan rules, whilst recognising the short-term adverse impact on our financial performance.

"Our people have risen to these challenges and, through the embedding of our principles and values introduced earlier this year, we believe that we are well placed to achieve our key aims of becoming the leading end-of-life service provider in the UK and a deserving and rewarding employer.”

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