SOURCE: Meritage Hospitality Group

Meritage Hospitality Group

April 21, 2014 16:23 ET

Meritage Reports First Quarter 2014 Results Continued Sales and Earnings Growth

GRAND RAPIDS, MI--(Marketwired - Apr 21, 2014) - Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. (OTCQX: MHGU), one of the nation's premier restaurant operators, today reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 30, 2014.

2014 First Quarter Highlights

  • Sales increased 10.9% to a record $35.2 million from $31.7 million for the same period last year.
  • Earnings from Operations increased 14.5% to $766,000 compared to $668,000 for the same period last year.
  • Net Income was $197,000 compared to $422,000 for the same period last year. 
  • Consolidated EBITDA (a non GAAP measure) increased 2.5% to $1,534,000 compared to $1,497,000 for the same period last year.
  • The Company declared its 46th consecutive quarterly dividend on its Series B Cumulative Convertible Preferred Shares of $.20 per share, which was payable on April 1, 2014 to shareholders of record as of March 15, 2014.
  • The Company opened its 121st restaurant, a new Wendy's image activation design located in Jacksonville, FL.

"The story of this quarter was the strength and diversity of our restaurant business and operating systems. Company restaurant managers did an excellent job controlling food and labor costs during an intense winter in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states. The severe weather caused a number of one-time charges related to property maintenance, equipment and temporary restaurant closings during the quarter," stated Robert E. Schermer, Jr. the Company's CEO.

"The Company's newly opened Wendy's restaurant continues to produce company record sales volumes which are encouraging for the new Wendy's design standard. In addition, our wholly-owned Twisted Rooster style 'scratch-food' casual dining restaurant sales increased 46.7% and the segment earnings from operations increased 175% over last year," added Mr. Schermer.

The Company reiterated its 2014 Outlook which included;

  • Sales growth of 10% to 15%
  • Net Income growth of 50% to 55%
  • EBITDA growth (a non-GAAP measure) of 30% to 35%

The Company continues to seek tuck-in acquisitions and new restaurant roll-out opportunities where it can leverage its web-based operating platform and development skill-set within the Wendy's franchise system and casual dining segment.

About Meritage
Meritage is one of the nation's premier restaurant operators, currently operating 121 quick service and casual dining restaurants in six states. The Company is headquartered in Grand Rapids and employs a workforce of approximately 3,500. The Company's public filings can be viewed at www.otcqx.com under the stock symbol MHGU, or at the Company's website, 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.