Death rate dip weighs on Dignity

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A DROP in the number of UK deaths has reduced first quarter profits for the UK’s biggest funeral business.

Dignity, which runs nearly 770 funeral homes, said 20,000 less people died in the first 13 weeks of the year compared to last year, reducing revenue at Dignity to £81.2 million from £85.5 million.

Underlying operating profits fell to £31.1 million from £35.8 million.

Last year’s death rate in the UK was unusually high, driving much better results for Dignity than normal.

There were 175,000 deaths for the first quarter of 2015, compared to 156,000 for the first period of this year.

It expects the death rate to settle down to more normal levels last seen in 2014.

Boss Mike McCollum said the results were “consistent with our expectations”. Full year expectations remain unchanged.

Dignity, which also operates about 80 crematoriums, is one the oldest funeral firms in the country.

It helped bury Sir Winston Churchill when the wartime leader died in 1965. 

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May 9, 2016 |
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