Interim results for the 26 week period ended 24 June 2016

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 24 June 2016.

  26 week period ended 24 June 2016 26 week period ended 26 June 2015 increase / (decrease) per cent
Revenue (£million) 158.0 158.7 (0.4)
Underlying operating profit(a) (£million) 55.6 59.7 (6.9)
Underlying profit before tax(a) (£million) 42.4 46.5 (8.8)
Underlying earnings per share(b) (pence) 67.7 74.0 (8.5)
Cash generated from operations(c) (£million) 64.6 71.0 (9.0)
Operating profit (£million) 54.7 58.2 (6.0)
Profit before tax (£million) 41.5 45.0 (7.8)
Basic earnings per share (pence) 65.9 71.0 (7.2)
Number of deaths 302,000 317,000 (4.7)
Interim dividend (pence) 7.85 7.14 10.0

(a) Underlying profit is calculated as profit excluding profit (or loss) 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 (or loss) on sale of fixed assets, external transaction costs and exceptional items (all net of tax), divided by the weighted average number of Ordinary Shares in issue in the period.

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


The results for the first half of 2016 were slightly ahead of the Board's expectations. Underlying operating profits in the second quarter of 2016 are £0.6 million higher than the same period in 2015. Its full year expectations remain unchanged.

Compared to long term trends, the number of deaths in 2015 was abnormally high, helping the Group deliver an exceptional result in 2015. The Group continues to expect this unprecedented increase in deaths to reverse in 2016. Its current assumption remains that the number of deaths in 2016 will be broadly comparable to 2014.

Although as expected underlying operating performance in the first half of the year was lower than in 2015, underlying operating profit was approximately 22 per cent higher than the same period in 2014 (when the Group reported £45.6 million) and underlying earnings per share was approximately 45 per cent higher (when the Group reported 46.7 pence).

The Group's expectations for the year remain unchanged. Although this would mean reported underlying operating profit in 2016 slightly below the prior year, the Group remains committed to its target of increasing earnings per share by an average of 10 per cent per year over the medium-term.

The Group has acquired six funeral locations for an aggregate investment of £5.4 million and has opened five satellite locations in the period to 24 June 2016. Since this date, the Group has acquired one funeral location and opened three satellite locations. In addition and as previously announced on 28 June 2016, the Group completed the acquisition of three freehold crematoria from Funeral Services Limited (trading as Co-op Funeralcare) as part of an agreement to acquire five locations from them for consideration of £43 million. On 22 July 2016, the Group completed the acquisition of one of the two leasehold crematoria from Funeral Services Limited.

Mike McCollum, Chief Executive of Dignity plc commented:

"The Group has performed well in the first half of 2016 and traded slightly ahead of our expectations. The Group’s expectations for the full year remain unchanged."


For more information

Mike McCollum, Chief Executive
Steve Whittern, Finance Director
Dignity plc                             +44 (0) 207 466 5000

Richard Oldworth
Sophie McNulty
Catriona Flint
Buchanan                             +44 (0) 207 466 5000

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