This morning we’ve announced our annual results across the Co-op. The last year, has been a year like no other, with the pandemic impacting all areas of the Co-op.

I wanted to personally say how incredibly proud I am of everyone across Funeralcare, as you’ve been right at the centre of this pandemic and responded magnificently to this hugely challenging period.

Across the funeral industry it has been a tragic time of loss and sadness for families and the impact on our sector has been significant. Overall at the Co-op, we helped 100,920 clients say beautiful and unique goodbyes to their loved ones. Importantly we’ve also helped over 42,000 clients plan for a funeral – something that is truly important to so many as we move through the pandemic and people’s thoughts turn to thoughtfully planning to help support those they leave behind. Last year, we improved our funeral service options and we continued to hold prices for our clients on Funerals and our Funeral Plans. The thing I’m most proud of is the service and care you’ve provided to thousands of people at a time when it’s been most needed. You can see more of our performance metrics below:

Funeralcare Image Pt 1 Funeralcare Image Pt 2

I’d like to thank each and every one of you for your dedication and commitment in supporting families through these difficult times.

I’d also like to acknowledge the creativity, innovation and professionalism everyone has shown, as we’ve adapted to the new restrictions that were put in place, whilst still ensuring that families and individuals were incredibly well supported to mark the life of their loved ones. We’ve all seen some wonderful examples, such as live streaming funerals, conducting services in outdoor locations, corteges passing the family home, and personalised tributes from those unable to attend.

As we look ahead to the rest of 2021, we know that the world of funerals continues to change – our clients’ needs continue to evolve, new regulation is on the horizon for both funerals and funeral plans, and the world around us has shifted in response to the pandemic. We need to continue to adapt to meet these changes. During the pandemic, we rightly paused some of the changes we had planned, but now we’re able to start our transformation activity again which is so critical to securing a long-term sustainable future for our wonderful business, the clients we serve and our incredible people.

You’ll be hearing much more about our transformation activity as we move through the year. We’re making improvements in how clients can personalise their funerals, how to offer greater value for money, how we better serve the communities we operate in, how we make it easier for clients to get in touch with us, and importantly, how we free up more time to spend with our clients when they need us most.

By continuing to adapt and move forward, now and into the future, we’ll be able to support even more families with an even better offer. Truly helping our clients say, and plan to say, their best goodbye.

A heartfelt thank you for all of your support.

Sam.