Death rate rise propels profits at funeral provider Dignity

 
Michael Bow
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Dignity has helped bury well-known figures such as Sir Winston Churchill in 1965
An unusually high death rate helped Dignity, the UK’s only listed funeral provider, make higher profits last quarter.

Deaths across the UK rose to 175,000 for the three months ending March, up nearly 20 per cent compared with last year. Revenue followed trend and rose to £85.5m from £69.1m in 2014.

“The year has started very strongly compared to a weak first quarter last year,” chief executive Mike McCollum said yesterday.

Dignity, best known for burying wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill in 1965, owns 718 funeral locations across the country.

The UK death rate fell by seven per cent at the start of last year but has returned to more normal levels this year. Death rates tend to normalise as the year progresses.

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