Dignity revenues rise despite fall in deaths

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Listed funeral services provider Dignity today said it overcame a “slow” start to the year to report a rise in first-quarter revenues and profits.

The firm said the number of deaths during the first three months of the year were 7.5 per cent lower than a year ago, when reported deaths rose by 6.7 per cent.

However, underlying operating profits grew 1.6 per cent to £25.8 million, on revenues 1.9 per cent higher at £69.1m.

Dignity chief executive Mike McCollum said the group is predicting there will be 550,000 deaths this year, about 2 per cent lower than 2013 but broadly in line with 2012.

He added: “As anticipated, the year has started slowly compared to a strong first quarter last year.

“However, with the exception of the low volumes in the first quarter, the group’s businesses are performing well and in line with management’s expectations.”