Q1 management statement

Dignity plc (Dignity or the Group), the UK's only listed provider of funeral related services, announces its Q1 management statement for 2013.

  13 week period ended 29 March 201313 week period ended 30 March 2012Increase per cent

  1. Underlying operating profit is calculated as operating profit excluding profit on sale of fixed assets and external transaction costs.
  2. In recent years, the Group has received Recoveries of £1.5 million per annum. As expected and highlighted in the Group's preliminary results in March 2013, the Group has not received any Recoveries from its pre-arranged funeral plan trusts in 2013. Recoveries of £1.5 million were received in the first quarter of 2012.
Revenue (£million) 67.8 61.1 11.0
Underlying operating profit excluding Recoveries1,2 (£million) 25.4 21.9 16.0
Recoveries2 (£million) - 1.5  
Underlying operating profit1 (£million) 25.4 23.4 8.5

The year has started well for the Group, with overall performance ahead of management's expectations as a result of the number of deaths being approximately 7% higher than the same period in 2012. As in previous years, it is anticipated that the number of deaths will normalise over the full year.

On 25 January 2013, the Group completed the acquisition of Yew Holdings Limited, comprising 40 funeral locations and 2 crematoria. This acquisition has traded in line with management's expectations and integration is on track. As expected, this acquisition has diluted the overall growth in average income per funeral compared to the same period last year, with the core business continuing to show robust average income.

The Group has acquired one further funeral location and has opened seven satellite locations since the start of the year.

Trading since 29 March 2013 is in line with management's expectations.

There were no other significant transactions in the period to 12 May 2013.

Mike McCollum, Chief Executive of Dignity plc commented:

“This is a good performance by the Group with the first quarter being ahead of our expectations. The integration of Yew Holdings is progressing well and the initial performance is encouraging. All three divisions of the business are performing strongly.

Our outlook remains positive and our full year expectations are unchanged.”

In accordance with the terms of the securitisation carried out in April 2003, Dignity (2002) Limited (the holding company of those companies subject to the securitisation) has today issued reports to the Rating Agencies (Fitch and Standard & Poor's), the Security Trustee and the holders of notes issued in connection with the securitisation confirming compliance with the covenants established under the securitisation. Copies of these reports are available at www.dignityfuneralsplc.co.uk

For further information please contact:

Mike McCollum, Chief Executive
Steve Whittern, Finance Director
Dignity plc                                              +44 (0) 121 354 1557

Richard Oldworth
Suzanne Brocks
Louise Hadcocks
Buchanan Communications             +44 (0) 207 466 5000

Notes to Editors:


From time to time, the Group receives monies from certain of the Trusts, in line with the relevant Trust's deed, which have been assessed by the trustees as not required to ensure the Trust has sufficient assets to meet its future liabilities in respect of current members (Recoveries). All Recoveries are recognised as other operating income in the period in which the trustees approve their payment.

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