(MENAFN Editorial) GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Oct. 12, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. (OTCQX: MHGU), one of the nationâ€™s premier restaurant operators, today reported financial results for the third quarter and the nine months ended September 30, 2018.Â Â
2018 Third Quarter Highlights:
Sales increased 28.1% to a record $110.9 million compared to $86.6 million for the same period last year. Earnings from Operations increased 58.8% to $6.3 million compared to $3.9 million for the same period last year. Net Earnings increased 39.5% to $3.7 million compared to $2.6 million last year. Consolidated EBITDA (a non-GAAP measure) increased 32.2% to $10.5 million compared to $8.0 million for the same period last year. â€œThe Companyâ€™s record sales in the third quarter were driven primarily by the successful integration of newly acquired and renovated restaurants. The quarter also presented some seasonal challenges, as the extensive flooding from Hurricane Florence closed several of our Wendyâ€™s restaurants for over a week. We believe our newly built, reimaged and acquired Wendyâ€™s will continue to provide significant long-term earnings catalyst, as we execute our 420-restaurant growth plan. During the fourth quarter, we are planning to open a new Wendyâ€™s restaurant every ten days for the remainder of the year,â€ stated Meritage CEO, Robert E. Schermer, Jr.
The Company has committed significant capital resources to the Wendyâ€™s brand initiatives including new locations and remains on schedule to complete 26 projects for the year. Customers are continuing to reward us for the new and upgraded facilities with improved sales and greater overall guest satisfaction.
2018 Nine Months Highlights: Sales for the nine months ended September 30, 2018, increased 44.1% to 327.5 million compared to sales of $227.3 million for the same period last year.
Â Earnings from Operations increased 51.7% to $19.4 million compared to $12.8 million for the same period last year.
Â Net Earnings increased 43.3% to $10.7 million compared to $7.5 million for the same period last year
Â Consolidated EBITDA (a non-GAAP measure) increased 35.5% to $29.6 million compared to $21.9 million last year.
Â Common stock cash dividends paid during the first nine months of the year represent a 28.6% increase over the same period last year.
Meritage continues to distinguish itself as a leader and platform 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.
2018 Full -Year Outlook: Continued Solid Growth Ahead Sales growth of 40% to 50% Earnings from Operations growth of 55% to 65% Net Earnings growth of 40% to 50% EBITDA growth of 40% to 50% Common stock dividend growth of 50% to 100%
Meritage Hospitality Group is one of the nationâ€™s premier restaurant operators, with 311 restaurants in operation located in Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, 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 10,000 employees. The Company has approximately 6.2 million (basic) common shares outstanding. The Companyâ€™s public filings can be viewed at 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.Â Factors set forth in our Safe Harbor Statement, in addition to other possible factors not listed, could affect the Companyâ€™s actual results and cause such results to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements.Â Please review the Companyâ€™s Safe Harbor Statement at http://www.meritagehospitality.com. Â CONTACT:
Robert E. Schermer, Jr., CEO
Meritage Hospitality Group Inc.