Press Release, Annual Results of Junction 23A Funeral Holdings, Donington Park, August 20th, 2023.
Chairman and Managing Director’s 5 Year Review
Thanks to my strategic vision and hard work, I am pleased to announce that the 2022/23 turnover of Junction 23A Funeral Holdings was £2.53 billion, with profits after tax and bribery payments, fines and the Disappearance Fee of £12 million related to my major competitor based in Belgium, of £142 million.
I will use this opportunity to highlight the main developments since we created the market for conveniently located funeral services five years ago. Read for the details of how it started.
1. UK Market Leadership
Based on our motto that everywhere is half way between two other points, we now operate 30 Funeral Services across the UK motorway network. We choose sites based on demographic and financial analysis. The only exceptions are Tebay on the M6 and Tibshelf on the M1, which were suggested by Dominic and Mary. They are our most profitable locations. Your cheques are in the post.
2. Hindu market
The Hindu populations of London, Birmingham, Lancashire and Yorkshire told me that there was a huge need for a location to conduct open-air cremations, as is the practice by the sacred River Ganges in the city of Varanasi in India.
We were badly advised, it turns out, that the Trent, the river nearest to Donington, was holy to the Hindus. Thus we embarked on project to provide pilgrims everything they need. After spending a comfortable night at the Travellodge Hotel at Donington Park, the relatives and deceased would travel to the river in the funeral cortege. They would witness the first dawn bathers in the holy water, see the sadhus, eat fresh street food, enjoy the noise, and watch the cows free to roam.
The burning ghats weren’t popular with the locals and the Trent never got above ten degrees. Also, it turned out that the Trent wasn’t holy after all. We have settled most of the cases for damages.
3. Strategic Dining Partnership
It became clear that our guests, that is what we call funeral attendees, wanted a superior dining experience to that offered by Harvester. On the other hand, the hosts of the funerals complained that the food was expensive. We therefore introduced two-tier catering. The Classic option includes unlimited food at the all-new Wimpy. The Premium option includes unlimited food and three pints per head at Beefeater. As a result of these changes, we saw food and beverage revenues increase 36%, with people scoring Dining Options as the third most important reason choosing our venues, behind proximity to motorways and free two-hour parking.
4. International Footprint
Copycat European operators opened quickly, effectively preventing our expansion on the continent. After three years of focus on the Central Asia region, I am delighted to report that it now accounts for 40% of our revenue, and 10% of our profits. We have opened Junction 23A Funerals between the following cities:
Ashgabat and Dasoguz, Turkmenistan.
Yerevan, Armenia and Baku, Azerbaijan.
Samarkand and Urgench, Uzbekistan.
Samarkand and Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Astana, Kazakhstan and Samara, Russia.
Dushanbe, Tajikistan and Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
We use locally sourced ingredients and created menus corresponding with local tastes, although the Wimpy AllDay Breakfast was popular everywhere.
5. Buddhist Market
What with every popstar being a Buddhist, and it being the latest craze, we opened a trial site two miles from Donington Park. Looking back, we should have anticipated the problems, but I’m proud of how we overcame them. Knowing they are vegetarian, we thought the Jumbo Wedges with Slaw would meet the need for a healthy meal. In the end, we arranged take away with the Long Eaton Balti House. Building the Stupa in the field at the end of the runway at East Midlands Airport was a mistake, because we learned that Buddhists like it quiet. My initial reaction was to label them fussy, because I had seen real Buddhists find themselves under noisy flyovers in Bangkok. In the end, we bought a field behind the M1 noise abatement barriers, which left everyone satisfied.
7. Football Coaches
After complaints from Guests attention cremations about the behaviour of fans travelling to and from away matches, we installed signs saying ‘It will be you one day’. The Toon Army once joined in the funeral of a fellow Magpie.
7. Foreign Truck Drivers
Lonely and spiritually starved drivers, mainly from Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey and other distant lands, have entered the cremation ceremonies by accident. We welcome them whatever their faith and families have done the same.
8. Suspected Russian Nerve Agent Murders
The day after this Russian registered truck pulled up at Donington, four healthy adults were fighting for their lives at Nottingham General Hospital. They had been due to attend the funeral of former spy, Andrej Litkov. Within hours, the British government blamed the Russians, and the tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions began. Later that day, 35 people attending an unrelated cremation, also reported sickness. It turned out that they all had four day old milk in their lattes from Costa Coffee.
9. Disappearance Fee
We operate to the highest ethical standards in every country. It was necessary to assassinate a competitor in Belgium, and we did it following local protocols.
Families continue to disperse, making me confident of a 15% earnings CAGR from our 20 UK sites. Central Asia will fulfill its potential, and my mother and I intend to present the results to you in 2028.
Andrew Knowlman, August 20th, 2023.