Funeral Industry News

Service Corporation (SCI) Says Preneed Funeral Planning Grows 10.2%

May 4, 2010
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Service Corporation (SCI) Says Preneed Funeral Planning Grows 10.2%

imagePre-need funeral planning is on the rise, which is good news for funeral homes. Service Corporation International Announced pre-need funeral planning increased 10.2 percent in the first quarter 2010. The hard economic times has impacted the funeral business negatively in the past decade, making these new numbers a sign of recovery.

Total funeral contracts increased 8.9 percent, but most pre-need contract sales are for future revenues. Pre-need funeral planning allows families to breath easier during unfortunate times, especially when pre-need funeral planning is done early in life, in case of emergencies.

The rise in cremations and choosing the most affordable options has plagued the industry whose services increased in price internally as well. Embalming, coffin materials and upkeep is more expensive than 10 years ago, but funeral homes are having a hard time raising their own prices to accommodate overhead costs.

The cremation rate increased 41 percent first quarter of this year. At-need revenue increased slightly over the past year as well, which may have attributed to cremation increases and pre-need revenue changes. Recognized pre-need revenue increased slightly.

Total comparable cemetery revenues increased 14.3 percent from 2009 to 2010, with a slight increase in gross profit. Pre-need funeral planning can save families in the end by paying for funeral costs early and periodically rather than all at once.

“We are encouraged with the operating results achieved in the first quarter as the positive trends that we saw in the second half of 2009 related to expense management, preneed sales and higher trust fund income continued,? stated Tom Ryan, the President and Chief Executive Officer of SCI.

Written by Amy Munday,