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Interim Results

Dignity performs ahead of expectations

27 July 2016 07:43

Dignity said 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% higher than the same period in 2014 (when the group reported £45.6 million) and underlying earnings per share was approximately 45% higher (when the group reported 46.7p).

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 year over the medium-term.

The group acquired six funeral locations for an aggregate investment of £5.4 million and opened five satellite locations in the period to 24 June 2016.

Since this date, the group acquired one funeral location and opened three satellite locations.

The group completed the acquisition of three freehold crematoria from Funeral Services (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.

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