InvoCare Limited, the largest private funeral, cemetery and crematorium operator in the Asia Pacific region, announced today its results for the half year ended 30 June 2013.
Statutory profit after tax of $21.5 million was up 5.6% on last year and includes $2.1 million for an impairment reversal in respect of cemetery land and $1.3 million gains on asset sales.
The Group’s overall gross sales were up 5.1% to $183.6 million. Underlying operating earnings after tax decreased by 9.1% to $17.2 million. Operating earnings per share decreased 9.2% to 15.8 cents per share.
Whilst InvoCare continued its investment in personnel for innovation and future growth, it was unable to react quickly enough to reduce costs when an unexpected, sudden decline in funeral case volumes occurred in the month of June.
Greater focus on working capital resulted in operating net cash inflows improving $9.6 million. The Directors determined that the interim, fully franked, ordinary dividend of 15.0 cents per share be maintained and will be payable on 4 October 2013, with a record date of 13 September 2013 and an ex-dividend date of 9 September 2013.
InvoCare has left activated its Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRP) for this interim dividend. It is not intended that this DRP be underwritten nor will shares be issued at a discount.
Several small acquisitions have been completed in New Zealand since 30 June 2013. The total consideration for the businesses was $2.3 million, including property. These acquisitions further expand InvoCare’s footprint and share in the New Zealand market.
Andrew Smith, InvoCare’s Chief Executive Officer said:
“InvoCare’s first half result has been adversely impacted by a combination of less than expected numbers of deaths and market share growth, and the continued investment in personnel, commenced during 2012, to support future innovation and growth. Improvements in average per case sales revenue and contributions from newly acquired businesses helped in part to mitigate these effects.
With the unseasonably warm weather continuing, the headwind in the number of deaths has continued into July and August and we are tightly managing our costs to support our second half results. Pleasingly, July operating earnings after tax grew at a greater rate than gross sales as a result.”
For immediate Release
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