Service Corp. International performed fewer funerals last year, the Houston-based funeral company said Thursday in announcing its earnings had declined during the fourth quarter and for all of 2015.
CEO Tom Ryan, in a statement, also cited losses from currency exchange from its Canadian funeral homes and cemeteries. Revenue per average funeral in 2015 was also slightly below 2014.
The company reported $157 million in operating income for the fourth quarter, down from $220.3 million a year earlier. Diluted earnings per share were 36 cents, down from 42 cents.
For the year, SCI brought in $550.3 million in operating income, down from $607.5 million in 2014, but diluted earnings per share rose to $1.14 for the year, up from 81 cents. The company’s stock was down in early trading.
The largest death-care company in North America, SCI employs about 24,000 at its 1,535 funeral homes and 469 cemeteries across the U.S. and Canada. Native Houstonian Robert L. Waltrip started with a single funeral home in the Heights.
In 2015 SCI performed nearly 317,000 funerals, but that was fewer than 325,000 in 2014. Its average revenue per funeral was $5,175 in 2015, just slightly lower than the year before.
At its cemeteries SCI saw more income from prepurchased cemetery plots. The company has been working to sell more funeral services and cemetery plots ahead of time, encouraging people to plan their funerals before they die to ease the eventual burden on loved ones.