Dignity carries out a fifth more funerals and cremations due to Covid-19

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Dignity PLC (LON:DTY) said the second wave of coronavirus infections in the UK led to a much higher than expected number of funerals in the three months to 26 March 2021.


Since the end of the period, Dignity added that the UK has witnessed deaths falling below the five-year average.


Revenues rose 14% to GBP94.7mln over the 13 weeks as the death toll rose by 27% to 204,000 (161,000) and all due to Covid-19, said the funeral services group.


Dignity said it performed 23,800 funerals over the period (compared to 20,000 a year ago) and 22,600 cremations (Q1 2020: 18,600).


Underlying operating profits rose by 35% to GBP26.1mln, though the group said COVID-19 has had a distorting impact on the business both in terms of operations and the financial results, making comparisons to the prior year difficult.


The restrictions on funeral sizes continue to impact the average revenue per funeral, it added.


Dignity went through a boardroom battle during the quarter that saw Gary Channon from major shareholder Phoenix take over as executive chairman.


“We have commenced a process to recruit a new Independent Chairman and Non-Executive Directors to help steer the strategic direction,” he said.


” As the limits on mourner numbers begin to ease, we expect to see a change in the services we are able to offer bereaved people and look forward to helping those who have lost someone say goodbye in a personal and meaningful way,” he added.



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