Meritage Reports Second Quarter 2015 Results; Strong Restaurant Sales and Earnings Growth

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| Source: Meritage Hospitality Group, Inc.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., July 14, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Meritage Hospitality Group, Inc. (OTCQX:MHGU), one of the nation’s premier restaurant operators, today reported financial results for the second quarter ended June 28, 2015. 

Second Quarter Highlights

  • Sales increased 26.0% to a record $51.0 million from $40.5 million for the same period last year.
  • Earnings from Operations increased 30.0% to $2.9 million from $2.2 million for the same period last year.
  • Net Earnings increased 79.1% to $2.2 million compared to $1.2 million for the same period last year.
  • Consolidated EBITDA (a non-GAAP measure) increased 81.5% to $5.2 million compared to $2.9 million for the same period last year.
  • The Company paid a special common stock dividend of $0.03 per share on June 26, 2015, representing a 100% dividend increase over the same period last year.

“Our restaurant operating teams delivered a strong financial performance for the quarter and first half of the year, staying focused on customers, costs and systems integration in newly acquired or newly constructed restaurants. The Company continues to invest substantial resources in the Wendy’s restaurant brand initiatives, including the restaurant re-imaging program termed “image activation”, as well as developing new restaurant locations and acquisitions. Our newly renovated Wendy’s restaurants are generating compelling double digit same-store-sales increases along with high customer satisfaction. The system goal is to have 60% of the restaurants image activated by the end of 2020, and we are currently on schedule for 10% of our restaurants to be image activated by year end,” stated Meritage CEO, Robert E. Schermer, Jr. 

“Additionally, the Company is developing a multi-year project pipeline for expansion in its uniquely branded chef-casual restaurants, which we believe will continue to enhance operating margins,” added Mr. Schermer. 

Six Months Highlights

  • Sales for the six months increased 28.8% to a record $97.5 million compared to sales of $75.7 million for the same period last year.
  • Earnings from Operations increased 56.3% to $4.7 million compared to $3.0 million last year.
  • Net Income increased 123.3% to $3.2 million compared to $1.4 million for the same period last year.
  • Consolidated EBITDA (a non-GAAP measure) increased 92.2% to $8.5 million compared to $4.4 million last year.

The Company is currently performing ahead of its 2015 earnings guidance listed below:

  • Sales growth of 25% to 30%
  • EBITDA growth of 60% to 65%
  • Net Earnings growth of 100%
  • Special dividend growth of 100%

Meritage Hospitality is one of the nation’s leading franchise operators, currently operating 151 quick-service and chef-casual dining restaurants in six states. The Company specializes in the acquisition, development and operation of restaurants, utilizing its unique, scalable web-based back-of-house operating platform. The Company is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and employs an active workforce of approximately 4,000. The Company’s public filings can be viewed at www.otcqx.com, under the common stock symbol MHGU and the company’s website at www.meritagehospitality.com.

SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT

Certain information in this news release, particularly information regarding future economic performance and finances, and plans, expectations and objectives of management, constitutes forward-looking statements. Factors set forth in our Safe Harbor Statement, in addition to other possible factors not listed, could affect the Company’s actual results and cause such results to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements. Please review the Company’s Safe Harbor Statement at http://www.meritagehospitality.com.

CONTACT:
Robert E. Schermer, Jr., CEO
Meritage Hospitality Group Inc.
616/776-2600 ex. 1012