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Why the Propel Funeral Partners share price is storming higher today

The market may have tumbled lower today, but that hasn’t stopped the Propel Funeral Partners Ltd (ASX: PFP) share price from storming higher.

In morning trade the funeral company’s shares are up 5% to $3.15.

Why is the Propel share price storming higher?

Investors have been buying the company’s shares this morning following the release of a strong first quarter update.

According to the release, Propel performed a record number of funerals in the first quarter. It also reported, but did not disclose, comparable and total funeral volumes which were higher than the prior corresponding period.

Furthermore, management revealed that during the quarter it achieved Average Revenue Per Funeral growth within its target range of 2% to 4% on FY 2019’s figures.

This ultimately led to the company posting first quarter revenue of $28.9 million, up 19% on the prior corresponding period. And thanks to a 430-basis point increase in its operating margin, operating EBITDA came in 38.3% higher than the first quarter of FY 2019 at $8.9 million.

These figures do not include any contributions from the previously announced acquisitions of Dils Group and Gregson & Weight. These acquisitions are both expected to complete in the second quarter.

Propel’s Managing Director, Albin Kurti, was pleased with the company’s positive start to FY 2020 and appears optimistic on the future.

Mr Kurti said: “Propel has made a positive start to the new financial year and we expect death volumes will continue to revert to long term trends, given the unusual decline experienced last year, the partial recovery in recent months and the growing and ageing population.”

Elsewhere in the industry today, despite this update appearing to point to improving trading conditions, it hasn’t had a positive impact on the InvoCare Limited (ASX: IVC) share price. At the time of writing the rival funeral company’s shares are down 0.5% to $13.56.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended InvoCare Limited and Propel Funeral Partners Ltd. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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