Funerals provider Dignity's share price falls as competitors cut prices

 
Helen Cahill
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Funeral service firm Dignity's share price fell today after it warned about fierce competition in the industry.

At time of writing, Dignity's share price was down eight per cent to 2,262p.

The figures

For the 39 weeks ended 29 September, revenue rose from £229.3m to £243.9m, an increase of six per cent.

Underlying operating profit climbed by five per cent year-on-year, up from £75.8m to £79.4m. The number of deaths rose by one per cent from 434,000 to 440,000.

In the period, Dignity said it invested £28.8m, acquiring 20 funeral locations and one crematorium. Since 29 September, the group has opened four funeral locations.

Why it's interesting

Dignity said today that it continues to see significant competition in the funeral business. Its crematorium business is performing well, but there are new competitors in the funeral sector, and other firms have been dropping prices. The company also warned about increasing competition earlier this year, saying that other businesses had adopted "aggressive" pricing strategies.

Read more: Funeral provider Dignity's profits rise as number of deaths increases

To keep its market share, Dignity, which is the only listed funerals company in the UK, said it is continuing to offer a high level of service, and is expanding its digital offer. It plans to invest a further £1m this year into building on its strategy.

What Dignity said

Mike McCollum, chief executive of Dignity, said: "Following the group's solid third quarter results expectations for the full year remain unchanged. The board recognises the increasingly competitive environment and the consequential challenges facing the group.

"Alongside the work being undertaken on the group's digital strategy and our continued call for regulation of our markets, we are assessing other initiatives to help the group build on its strong market position."

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