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Dignity Q1 Revenue Rises

Dignity Plc. (DTY.L) reported that its first-quarter revenue increased to about 95 million pounds from 93 million pounds in the prior year. EBIT was about 37.5 million pounds in line with the prior year, but significantly ahead of the Board's expectations.

Despite this positive start to the year, the Board still believes it is too early to conclude that the trading experienced in the first-quarter is indicative of the likely funeral price / volume mix going forward and the Group continues to conduct a significant number of price and service trials across its entire portfolio. The data from these trials is still at a very early stage and it is not yet possible to draw any meaningful conclusions.

The company noted that its board continues to believe that trading during 2018 will be volatile but based on the first quarter results believe that results for the full year will be ahead of current market expectations. In August 2018 the Board will be able to update the market as to results of these trials and the operational review being undertaken in conjunction with L.E.K. Consulting. The Board expects to announce the full first quarter results on 14 May 2018.

In that preliminary announcement the company indicated that, although too early to make any conclusions, the initial analysis of the mix of funerals in that first seven weeks, since the introduction of the reduced simple funeral price, had shown a step change in the number of simple funerals as a percentage of all funerals conducted by the Group but that this was at a run rate of approximately 15 per cent (lower than the 20 per cent originally anticipated by the Board). Additionally, the absolute number of deaths in the first seven weeks of 2018 were approximately seven per cent higher than the prior year. The Office of National Statistics expects a decline of 0.2 per cent for the year as a whole.

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