Meritage Reports Record Preliminary 2017 Results; 2018 Outlook: Significant Sales and Earnings Growth Ahead

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| Source: Meritage Hospitality Group, Inc.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Feb. 09, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. (OTCQX:MHGU), one of the nation’s premier restaurant operators, today reported preliminary financial results for the 2017 fiscal year ended December 31, 2017. 

2017 Full-Year Highlights:

  • Sales increased 32.6% to $312.6 million compared to $235.8 million last year.
  • Earnings from Operations increased 27.1% to $14.4 million compared to $11.4 million last year.
  • Net Income increased 40.1% to $9.0 million compared to $6.4 million last year.             
  • Consolidated EBITDA (a non-GAAP measure) increased 42.7% to $26.4 million compared to $18.5 million last year.
  • Common stock cash dividends increased 42.9% over the previous year.
  • The Company developed or acquired net 74 additional restaurants during the year to finish with 255 restaurants in operation.             

“We are pleased to report the best full-year results in the Company’s history on all key financial line items highlighted above. The results included strong core restaurant operations, the incremental impact of 71 restaurants acquired and modernization of 21 Wendy’s, including 8 new restaurant buildings. Customers continue to reward us for the Wendy’s modernization program throughout our U.S. designated market areas. Looking ahead, we are set-up for a significant growth year in 2018 with momentum in acquisitions, renovations and new construction. Growth within the Wendy’s system provides us the opportunity to leverage our operating systems and restaurant development expertise, capitalizing on Wendy’s distinct brand advantages of quality, convenience, and value,” stated Meritage CEO, Robert Schermer, Jr.

Fourth Quarter 2017 Highlights:

  • Sales increased 38.8% to $85.2 million compared to sales of $61.4 million for the same period last year. 
  • Earnings from Operations were $1.7 million compared to $2.9 million for the same period last year. 
  • Net Income was $1.6 million compared to $1.9 million for the same period last year.  
  • Consolidated EBITDA (a non-GAAP measure) was $4.6 million compared to $5.2 million last year.             

Meritage plans to continue its capital investment program in 2018 with the modernization of up to 40 Wendy’s restaurants during the year, including the development of approximately 20 new buildings.

In the first quarter of 2018, the Company acquired 43 Wendy’s restaurants located in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Texas.  The Company also reported a pending agreement to acquire 12 Wendy’s restaurants located in the Midwest. The acquisition is subject to standard due diligence and is scheduled to close during the first quarter. 

Company 2018 Full-Year Financial Outlook: Significant Sales & Earnings Growth Ahead

  • Sales growth of +35% to 45%
  • Earnings from Operations growth of +55% to 65%
  • Net Earnings growth of +35% to 45%
  • EBITDA growth of +35% to 45%
  • Common stock dividend growth +50% to 100%

Meritage continues to distinguish itself as a leader and innovator in the quick service restaurant segment, striving for best in class results through a performance based culture committed to operational excellence, strategic acquisitions and real estate development.

Meritage Hospitality Group is one of the nation’s premier restaurant operators, with 296 restaurants in operation located in Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Meritage is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, operating with a workforce of approximately 9,000 employees. The Company has approximately 6.1 million (basic) common shares outstanding. The Company’s public filings can be viewed at www.otcqx.com, under the stock symbol MHGU, or the Company’s website www.meritagehospitality.com

SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT

                Certain information in this new 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