And finally… dead loss

Major funeral firm Dignity has warned that its profits are likely to decline this year because fewer people in Britain have died than they expected.

The firm said the absolute number of deaths in the first three months of 2019 was just 159,000, down on 181,000 over the same period last year.

As a result, underlying operating profit at the company fell by 42 per cent to £21.7 million.

A mild winter and a low flu season were blamed for the surprisingly low number of deaths.

Analysts Peel Hunt have cut their annual pretax profit forecast for the firm by eight per cent to £41.5 million.