Q3 management statement

Dignity plc (Dignity or the Group), the UK's only listed provider of funeral related services, announces its Q3 management statement for 2013.

  39 week period ended 27 September 201339 week period ended 28 September 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 previous announcements, 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) 190.6 169.4 12.5
Underlying operating profit excluding Recoveries1,2 (£million) 60.2 51.9 16.0
Recoveries2 (£million) - 1.5 -
Underlying operating profit1 (£million) 60.2 53.4 12.7

As expected, the growth in operating profits in the quarter has been slower than the first half of the year, with the third quarter performance £0.7 million ahead of the same period last year. This is a consequence of the number of deaths in the quarter being approximately 97 per cent of the same period last year. The number of deaths in the first half of the year was 5.6 per cent higher than the prior year.

The integration of Yew Holdings has progressed well. Operating performance is strong, with the acquisition contributing £3.1 million of underlying operating profit in the year to date, slightly ahead of management's expectations.

Following the issue of further Secured Notes in July 2013, the Group has returned £61.9 million to shareholders as planned. The subsequent 13 for 14 share consolidation has maintained the comparability of the Group's performance measures such as Earnings per Share.

Since the Group's last results announcement on 31 July 2013, four additional funeral locations have been acquired (for an investment of £1.5 million) and one new satellite location has been opened. In the year to date, this brings the total number of funeral locations acquired to 45, crematoria acquired to two (for a total investment of £60.7 million) and new satellite locations opened to 10.

Trading since the quarter end continues to be in line with management's expectations.

There were no other significant transactions in the period to 11 November 2013.

Mike McCollum, Chief Executive of Dignity plc commented:

“I am pleased with the operating performance of the Group in the period. All parts of the business continue to perform well.

Our outlook remains positive and our expectations for the remainder of this year and 2014 are unchanged.”

Forward-looking statements
Certain statements in this interim management statement are forward-looking. Although the Board believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that these expectations will prove to have been correct. Because these statements involve risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements.

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 http://www.dignityfuneralsplc.co.uk.

For further information please contact:

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

Richard Oldworth
Sophie McNulty
Louise Hadcocks
Buchanan Tel: +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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