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Meritage Reports Preliminary 2015 Results; 2016 Outlook: Continued Earnings Growth
Globe Newswire

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Feb. 10, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. (OTCQX:MHGU), one of the nation’s premier restaurant operators, today reported preliminary financial results for 2015 fiscal year ended January 3, 2016.

2015 Full-Year Highlights:

  • Sales increased 31.1% to $210.0 million compared to $160.2 million last year.

  • Earnings from Operations increased 149.6% to $10.7 million compared to $4.3 million last year.

  • Net Income increased 154.7% to $7.0 million compared to $2.8 million last year.

  • Consolidated EBITDA (a non-GAAP measure) increased 94.8% to $17.1 million compared to $8.8 million last year.

  • Common stock cash dividends increased 100% over the previous year, commensurate with earnings growth.

  • The Company developed or acquired 26 additional restaurants, finishing the year with 166 restaurants in operation.


Chief Executive Officer Robert Schermer, Jr., stated, “Our results for the year achieved many of our operational goals, including a strong contribution from newly built and acquired restaurants, culminating with record earnings in the fourth quarter. During the year, we experienced a number of positive factors including lower food costs, high same store sales growth and several beneficial real estate transactions. Our proprietary casual dining brands continued to grow with earnings increasing 26% for the year.

2015 represented our fifth consecutive year of sales and restaurant growth, which exceeded our original five-year plan submitted to shareholders.  We accomplished these results through financial discipline, our unique operating & accounting platform and a service culture in our restaurants,” added Mr. Schermer.

Fourth Quarter 2015 Highlights:

  • Sales increased 34.9% to $59.2 million compared to sales of $43.9 million for the same period last year.

  • Earnings from Operations increased 1,265.3% to $3.0 million compared to $223,000 for the same period last year.

  • Net Income increased 310.1% to $2.3 million compared to $556,000 for the same period last year. 

  • Consolidated EBITDA (a non-GAAP measure) increased 113.8% to $4.4 million compared to $2.1 million last year.


Company 2016 Outlook: Continued Earnings from Operations Growth

The Company’s 2016 operating targets include the following year-over-year financial expectations (excluding any future acquisitions). The Company is planning to accelerate capital investments in 2016 including the renovation of 18 existing Wendy’s locations utilizing the new image activation design standards.

  • Sales growth of 5% to 10%
  • Earnings from Operations growth of 10% to 15%
  • EBITDA growth of 5% to 10% 


Meritage Hospitality Group is one of the nation’s premier restaurant operators, with 166 restaurants in operation located in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. Meritage is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, operating with a workforce of approximately 5,100 employees. The Company has approximately 5,651,242 (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

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