SOURCE: Meritage Hospitality Group Inc

Meritage Hospitality Group Inc

November 12, 2014 11:03 ET

Meritage Announces Board Authorization of Fifty-Percent Increased Special Dividend to Common Shareholders

GRAND RAPIDS, MI--(Marketwired - Nov 12, 2014) - Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. (OTCQX: MHGU), one of the nation's premier restaurant operators, today reported that its Board of Directors authorized a fifty percent (50%) increase in the common stock semi-annual special dividend to $.015 per share. The dividend is payable on December 3, 2014 to shareholders of record as of November 26, 2014. 

"We continue to execute on our growth plans as we implement strategic brand initiatives, build new Wendy's restaurants in Florida and Georgia, and launch additional Wendy's reimaging plans in 2015," stated President and Chief Executive Officer Robert E Schermer, Jr.

"Our financial expectations for 2015 include a twenty percent (20%) revenue increase which is a combination of same restaurant sales growth, new restaurant openings, and sales from a recent acquisition in Atlanta," Schermer added.

The Company anticipates that wage inflation and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act will add pressure to the restaurant industry cost structure along with the previously reported record-high beef costs. Historically, industry food costs and wage inflation have been passed through to consumers.

Meritage continues to execute its plans for restaurant consolidation as part of the Wendy's brand transformation, including the selective purchasing of restaurants from franchisees, developing new restaurants, and reimaging existing restaurants. The Company believes these initiatives will ultimately lead to a more efficient franchise system supported by brand and economic model relevance.

Meritage Hospitality Group is one of the nation's premier restaurant operators, with 140 restaurants located in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Meritage is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, operating with approximately 5,100 employees. 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.