Meritage Reports 2020 Full-Year Preliminary Results; 2021 Outlook: Poised For Strong Growth

Grand Rapids, Michigan, UNITED STATES


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Feb. 10, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. (OTCQX: MHGU), the nation’s premier franchise restaurant operator and developer, today reported preliminary financial results for the fiscal year ended January 3, 2021.

2020 Full-Year Highlights:

  • Sales increased 10.4% to a record $516.2 million compared to $467.5 million last year.
  • Earnings from Operations increased 21.8% to $25.8 million compared to $21.2 million last year.       
  • Net Earnings increased 22.4% to $15.8 million compared to $12.9 million last year.
  • Consolidated EBITDA (a non-GAAP measure) increased 4.9% to $46.7 million compared to $44.6 million last year.
  • The Company developed or acquired a net of 3 restaurants, to finish with 340 restaurants in operation across 16 states.

“We achieved record financial results during an unprecedented and challenging year. This was quite an accomplishment given the negative impact from COVID-19 in the first quarter, resulting from mandated closures associated with the pandemic. Our restaurant operating teams and real estate development group finished the balance of the year strong, supported by a resilient Wendy’s brand. As we continue to build on our sales momentum with double digit growth during the first quarter of 2021, we are focused on executing our critical priorities including employee and customer safety while delivering speed, convenience and affordable quality food,” stated Meritage CEO, Robert E. Schermer, Jr.

Fourth Quarter 2020 Highlights:

  • Sales increased 15.5% to $140.0 million compared to sales of $121.2 million for the same period last year.
  • Earnings from Operations increased 98.9% to $7.1 million compared to $3.6 million for the same period last year.         
  • Net Income increased 265.4% to $8.8 million compared to $2.4 million for the same period last year.
  • Consolidated EBITDA (a non-GAAP measure) increased 43.6% to $13.5 million compared to $9.4 million for the same period last year.

The Company is committed to Wendy’s capital investments and brand initiatives with plans to build 20 new locations and modernize 30 existing locations in 2021. The Company’s financial targets reflect the gradual re-opening of dine-in operations to 100% occupancy as the year progresses, and the continued development of new and wholly owned brands.

2021 Full-Year Outlook: Continued Growth Ahead

  • Sales growth of +10% to 15%
  • Earnings from Operations growth of +20% to 30%
  • Net Earnings growth of +20% to 30%
  • EBITDA growth of +15% to 20%
  • Dividend growth +100% to 125%

The Company is inspired by opportunity, leveraging a best-in-class operating platform and restaurant development expertise, while delivering the Wendy’s brand focus on quality, convenience and affordability.

About the Company

Meritage Hospitality Group is one of the nation’s premier restaurant operators, currently with 340 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 11,000 employees. At fiscal year-end 2020, the Company had total weighted average fully diluted common shares outstanding of 9,616,000 and Fully Diluted EPS of $1.55.

The Company’s current and publicly available information pursuant to SEC Rule 15c2-11 and FINRA Rule 6432 can be found at www.otcmarkets.com, under the stock symbol MHGU/Disclosures 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