Dignity marches on

Charles Cowling



The Times has reported Dignity plc’s results here(£). Briefly:

Pre-tax profits are up 15 per cent to £52.9 million.

Prepaid funerals contributed £6.7 million of this.

The bonus pool is £2.5 million and all fulltime staff have been given ‘a payout equivalent to’ £1000.

Final shareholder dividend of 11.83p a share, an increase of 10 per cent on last year.

Market share now 12 per cent.

68,000 funerals conducted last year, up from 63,200 in 2012

In the last year, 40 funeral homes and 2 crematoria acquired.

Share price rose 13p yesterday afternoon to £15. City slickers well pleased.

Dignity’s position is, of course, vulnerable to consumer awareness of its relatively expensive  funerals and its relationship with Age UK; and to disruptive intervention in the crematoria market on the US crematory model.

Over to you, Mr Plume.

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andrew plume
andrew plume
7 years ago

Dignity Plc are delighted to announce these figures. After forking out £58M on a fairly recent acquisition (plus further improvements to be made (as part of that deal)) an announcement in any other terms would look a touch disappointing When I look at “rah rah rah statements such as this” my sole concern is for the likes of Mrs Sylvia Smith of 1 Acacia Avenue, now faced with the expected death of her husband. She ends up being supremely overcharged in what is little other than ‘a fairly bog standard cremation’. She has no idea where her hard acquired cash… Read more »

Hazel Pittwood
7 years ago

Andrew, your advert is commendable – honest, up front, down to earth communication. We’ve just moved in to an area where the only other local FD is a member of the co-op…not that anything about their external appearance or advertising in local media would tell you that. One of our team recently spoke to a member of public who hadn’t realised the other company were co-op until they went in there and got handed some of their literature, at which point they left, having wanted to use an independent in the first place. I wonder how many families have fallen… Read more »

Fran Hall
7 years ago

I have in front of me an estimate dated last week from a Dignity owned local business: £1,450 for ‘Arranging and Conducting the Funeral’ (a cremation at a Dignity owned crematorium) and £800 for ‘Caring for the Deceased Person’. Together with the use of a hearse at £495, a bamboo coffin at £755, ‘Embalming Services’ included as a matter of course (without any discussion or asking whether the family wanted this) and £78 for an ashes casket and Dignity’s fee for this one funeral totals £3,669.00, before the cremation costs. Grand total for a straightforward cremation £4,843.00 The hub that… Read more »

7 years ago
Reply to  Fran Hall

Good morning Fran, That is a estimate and a half to say the least, nearly £5,000 for a Cremation what is the world coming too if decent people are prepared to pay that amount. You mentioned Independents putting prices in adverts, I do this in all my adverts and out of 9 Funeral Directors I am the only one to do it, Dignity and the Coop will not follow as they cant match my price but i am surprised none of the other Independents do not have a price on…… I did have a leaflet drop last year giving a… Read more »

andrew plume
andrew plume
7 years ago
Reply to  Fran Hall

Fran, Hi no mean estimate to put it mildly. I’m very au fait with ‘Dignity Accounting speak’ having seen this on numerous past instances. £2,250 gets you, the removal fee, the staff costs involved in effecting the arrangements and very little else. Assuming removal was from a local Hospital and that it was ‘a natural death’ there is as you know very little involved, just a few forms, some telephone calls, simply another ‘mechanical production line cremation’. As I’ve said on here before, there’s an awfully large mark up in removals and the big boys really exploit this. A standard… Read more »

Andrew Hickson (Kingfisher Funerals)

Spurred on by Dignity’s tremendous efforts, we have put this in our local paper this week http://stneotsfuneraldirectors.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Hunts-Post-full-page-advert-MARCH.pdf

andrew plume
andrew plume
7 years ago

Hi Andrew

why not expand your area to include Ely, there’s another fairly recently acquired Dignity business there as you know – why they need two shops…..? in the same small town with the same trading name, seems to be over egging the cake but it’s surely to prevent a ‘new start up’



David Holmes
7 years ago

We independent funeral directors should be thanking Dignity profusely for another brilliant year! Congrats and trebles all round.

Prices are up again, Dignity firms near me are quoting over £3,000 as a minimum start price for their service, plus the disbursements of course.

Brilliant Dignity – they lead the way – surely we little people must follow along behind them? A 15% increase in profits year on year would be most welcome in this still challenging economy.

I will now remove my tongue from cheek..