Matthews reports 1Q 2024 — Sales flat, EBITDA and Profit declines



Matthews International, the conglomerate company with their largest portion of sales in Death Care, or what they call their Memorialization Segment, reported gross sales for their First Fiscal Quarter (October thru December 2023) of 2024 coming in at $450 million as compared to $449.2 million for the same period one year ago.


President and CEO of Matthews International, Joseph C. Bartolacci said this in prepared statements from the company’s press release which you can access here,Our operating performance for the fiscal 2024 first quarter was generally in line with our expectations across our businesses, except energy solutions. As we advised last quarter, the timing of activity in our energy business can have a significant influence on our quarterly results, and it did in the first quarter of fiscal 2024. . . “


Memorialization Segment sales increased to $208 million from $206.5 million for the comparable quarter. . . an increase of less than 1%.  Here’s what CEO Bartolacci said of those results, “Our Memorialization segment reported higher sales for the fiscal 2024 first quarter compared to a year ago, primarily reflecting an increase in sales of granite memorial products and the impact of the recent acquisition of Eagle Granite. Casket sales declined reflecting lower death rates for the current quarter compared to a year ago which still included excess COVID-related deaths”.


EBITDA, Gross Profit Margins, and Operating Profit all dropped for the company.  Specifically to the Memorialization Segment, the company recorded Adjusted EBITDA of $36.7 million as compared to the previous year’s amount of $39.1 million.


Tom Anderson
Funeral Director Daily

Funeral Director Daily take:  Matthews International has taken a big stake in the process of production of batteries for what is thought to be the coming “Electric Vehicle” demand.  Simply listening to the national news in the past three months many now realize that EV units may be rolling out slower than originally anticipated and that, in itself, may slow down the momentum of Matthews.


Specifically to the Memorialization Segment, I don’t think that there is any doubt that the company’s Aurora Casket line will slow down in the quantity of their sales.  While there is expected to be more deaths in the United States, there is also the trend that more of these deaths will have alternative dispositions such as direct cremation.  In addition, it is my opinion that today’s consumer is learning more and more about the ability to purchase caskets from other sources, such as online casket companies.


There is no doubt that the Memorialization Segment is important to the company.  According to the 1st Quarter results it was responsible for about 46% of Matthews total sales and it was responsible for about 63% of the company’s total Adjusted EBITDA for that specific quarter.


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