Interim results for the 26 week period ended 28 June 2013

Dignity plc (Dignity 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 2013.

Financial highlights 26 week period ended 28 June 201326 week period ended 29 June 2012Increase per cent
Revenue (£million) 133.2 116.5 14.3
Underlying operating profit(a) (£million) 45.3 39.2 15.6
Underlying profit before tax(a)(£million) 33.1 27.5 20.4
Underlying earnings per share(b) (pence) 44.0 37.4 17.6
Cash generated from operations(c) (£million) 47.8 40.8 17.2
Operating profit (£million) 44.2 38.9 13.6
Profit before tax (£million) 32.0 27.2 17.6
Basic earnings per share (pence) 42.1 38.7 8.8
Interim dividend(d) (pence) - 5.36 n/a

(a) Underlying profit is calculated as profit excluding profit on sale of fixed assets and external transaction costs.

(b) Underlying earnings per share is calculated as profit on ordinary activities after taxation, before profit on sale of fixed assets, external transaction costs (both net of tax) and exceptional items, divided by the weighted average number of Ordinary Shares in issue in the period.

(c) Cash generated from operations excludes external transaction costs.

(d) No interim dividend is being paid in 2013, as the Group has announced a Return of Cash to shareholders of £1.08 per Ordinary Share, which, subject to shareholder approval on 8 August 2013, will be paid to shareholders in August 2013.

Funeral operations have performed strongly, with client satisfaction remaining high and average incomes remaining robust. The crematoria division has shown further good volume growth as recently opened locations continue to mature. Despite the number of pre-arranged funeral plan sales being slightly down on the prior year, good cost control has resulted in operating profit before Recoveries growing year on year.

The Board is pleased with how the integration of the Yew Holdings Limited acquisition has progressed. Since acquiring the business on 25 January 2013, operating profits of £2.1 million have been achieved which is in line with the Board‟s expectations.

On 30 July 2013, the Group completed an issue of further Secured Notes which has raised £97.7 million of gross proceeds. Some of these proceeds have been used to repay the Group's £34 million term loan obtained on the acquisition of Yew Holdings Limited in January 2013. The majority of the remainder will, subject to shareholder approval on 8 August 2013, be used to provide shareholders with a £61.9 million Return of Cash equating to £1.08 per Ordinary Share. The Group is also requesting approval to consolidate the Group‟s shares on a 13 for 14 basis to maintain performance indicators such as the Group's share price. The circular giving details of the proposed Return of Cash to shareholders and the notice of Extraordinary General Meeting were posted to shareholders on 23 July 2013.

No interim dividend will be paid as a result of the Return of Cash.

Mike McCollum, Chief Executive of Dignity plc commented:

“The first half of 2013 has seen a strong operating performance from our established operations and our largest single acquisition. Since the period end, we have announced a proposed third return of cash since flotation.

The Group remains on track to achieve the Board's expectations for the full year.”

The 2013 Interim Report will shortly be available on the Group's Investor website

For more information:

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

Richard Oldworth
Sophie McNulty
Louise Hadcocks
+44 (0) 20 7466 5000

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