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Dignity FY18 Profit Declines; Says FY19 Outlook Unchanged - Quick Facts

Dignity Plc. (DTY.L), a provider of funeral related services, reported that its preliminary profit attributable to equity shareholders for the 52 week period ended 28 December 2018 declined to 31.5 million pounds or 63.0 pence per share, from 57.8 million pounds or 115.6 pence per share last year.

Underlying profit after tax for the year was 42.9 million pounds, down from 64.0 million pounds in the previous year. Underlying earnings per share were 85.8 pence, compared to 128.3 pence a year ago.

Profit before tax for the year fell 43 percent to 40.5 milion pounds from 71.2 million pounds in the prior year.

Revenue for the year declined 3 percent to 315.6 million pounds from 324.0 million pounds in the prior year.

The Board proposed to maintain the final dividend at 15.74 pence per ordinary share, bringing the total dividend for the year to 24.38 pence, the same as in the previous year. If shareholders approve this payment at the Annual General Meeting, then it will be paid on 28 June 2019 to members on the register at close of business on 17 May 2019.

Looking ahead to fiscal 2019, Dignity said its board's expectations for the year ahead are unchanged from the most recent guidance.

The company noted that 2019 is likely to see underlying profitability lower than 2018, but in line with market expectations. In the medium-term, the Board believes that targeting solid single-digit increases in underlying earnings per share is appropriate and achievable.

Given the increasing focus on the company's brands across its entire business, Dignity said that as permitted by its Articles of Association, the company will change its name. The company will confirm its new name later in the year. This change will help to remove confusion between the company's trading brands and its corporate profile, the company noted.

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