InvoCare, as the largest funeral provider in the AU, is familiar to funeral director in Sydney and across the country. The company’s been shifting its demographic recently, as Aussies, on average, live longer.
CEO Martin Earp says that the company’s turned to regional centres, where retirees were moving to, by looking at where people were making sea and tree changes, then aim high quality business there.
InvoCare, which also owns the White Lady and Simplicity Funerals, recently acquired nine funeral homes over 2018, spread across regional Australia and New Zealand, and noted that they’re still aiming for five more acquisitions, in five regional areas.
InvoCare acquired funeral homes, in Ballarat in Victoria, Bunbury in Western Australia, Grafton and Port Macquarie in NSW, and Launceston in Tasmania, areas which has a high density of retirees.
According to the company’s earnings report, the company put particular emphasis in its recent acquisition in Bunbury, Archer & Sons, which they say gave it access to a high retiree area. Three of the other areas its aimed at are also expected to have older populations, in comparison to the rest of the AU, by 2036, where the Australian Bureau of Statistics forecasts about 20% of the Australian population will be over the age of 65.
The areas that InvoCare has moved into are expected to have at least 1/3rd of its population sitting within that age bracket. The move isn’t unfounded, as funeral director in Sydney and across the country can attest to; a report from the Institute of Health and Welfare noted that people in the regional areas of the AU are more prone to smoking, less prone to exercise, and also more likely to be overweight, in comparison to those who live in major cities.
These changes are to compensate for 2018, where InvoCare reported a challenging financial year, with flat revenue and dropped profits, thanks to funerals dropping due to mild flu season and the AU’s effective vaccination program.
Earp and the company has gone on record saying that they expect that the funeral market fluctuate by 5%, while 2018 saw a downturn of 3%, which affected the company. The long-term trend however, is forecasted by many to be positive, with 240,000 annual deaths by 2034.