Profits fall for funerals group Dignity

Funeral provider Dignity has seen profits fall this year as there has been a reduction in the number of deaths nationally.

Emstrey Crematorium and Cemetery, Shrewsbury
Emstrey Crematorium and Cemetery, Shrewsbury

The Sutton Coldfield business is one of the UK's largest national providers of funeral plans and end of life services.

It also operates crematoria at Telford, Shrewsbury, Lichfield and Stourport.

For the 39 weeks to the end of September underlying revenue was down 14 per cent to £204.7 million and underlying operating profit fell 68 per cent to £14.1m from £43.4m.

For the period deaths were down from 483,000 to 469,000.

Dignity said that during the third quarter of the year its new strategy continued to deliver early promising signs of increases in market share growth .

Revenue and underlying operating profit continued to be impacted by a combination of factors, including fluctuations in the death rate, change in pricing strategy and introduction of a direct cremation service through Dignity's funeral network.

Chief executive Kate Davidson said: "The third quarter continues to present some of the challenges we faced earlier this year, but with our new strategy well underway we are beginning to see positive indications of our market share growing. It is also promising to see tangible improvements to our workforce as we increase our headcount following the proactive steps we've taken.

"We remain focussed on our long term aims, and we believe that our strategy will deliver sustainable growth and value for shareholders, colleagues and clients alike."

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