Dignity has delivered a rise in half-year earnings as robust spending on funerals during the downturn boosted the company.
The Sutton Coldfield based firm, which is the UK’s largest provider of funeral-related services, announced a 3.2 per cent increase in pre-tax profits to £22.8 million for the half-year to June 26.
Revenues rose 5.5 per cent to £95.6 million as turnover was boosted by the acquisition of five crematoria so far this year.
Dignity is the UK’s only listed funeral company and operates in three areas – funeral services, crematoria and pre-paid funeral plans. During the six-month period, the firm conducted 35,000 funerals, down from 36,400 a year earlier, while operating profits at its funeral services arm rose 5.5 per cent to £26.7?million.
Mike McCollum, chief executive, said: “This period-on-period increase represents a solid performance by the division, supported by robust average revenue per funeral. All three businesses continue to perform well, with operating profits increasing by nine per cent.”
The group performed 22,400 cremations, a rise from 20,300 a year earlier, after increasing its number of sites from 25 to 30. Operating profits at the division rose 16.3 per cent to £9.3 million.
Dignity also revealed growth at its pre-paid funeral plan arm, with the number of unfulfilled plans rising to 206,500 from 200,000 a year earlier.