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What happens to a funeral company when less people die?

Image: Getty

Death is very rarely considered a good thing. But for funeral firm, InvoCare, a high number of deaths is critical to its central operations.

But Australian’s good health in 2018 was a problem for the firm which owns White Lady Funerals and Simplicity Funerals.

A mild winter and effective flu vaccine saw less Australian deaths which in turn hit the funeral firm’s bottom line in its 2018 full year results announcement.

But, that situation should change soon, the firm added.

“Operating results for 2018 were impacted by soft market conditions, namely, a lower number of deaths,” InvoCare CEO Martin Earp said.

“History suggests that these conditions are unlikely to be sustained and that reversion to the positive long-term trend is typical.”

Healthier Aussies combined with a major renovation program combined to see the company’s net profit after tax fall 57.7 per cent from 2017 to $41.2 million.

In its 2017 annual report, the company said the number of deaths is a “significant” performance driver.

“The ageing of the population in InvoCare’s markets and the long-term trend of increasing numbers of deaths are major pillars of growth for the Group.”

The report’s authors also noted that while the number of deaths impacts on the Group’s bottom line, this is largely “outside the control of management”.

InvoCare isn’t the only company to stumble on healthy Australians.

Medical centre operator Healius also said a “benign” winter flu season hit its first-half result. Its profit was down 6.3 per cent to $20.7 million.

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