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Meritage Reports First Quarter 2015 Results Strong Sales and Earnings Growth

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., April 17, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. (OTCQX:MHGU), one of the nation's premier QSR and casual restaurant operators, today reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 29, 2015.

2015 First Quarter Highlights

  • Sales increased 32.1% to a record $46.5 million from $35.2 million for the same period last year.
  • Earnings from Operations increased 132.6% to $1.8 million compared to $766,000 for the same period last year.
  • Net Income increased 446.3% to $1.1 million compared to $197,000 for the same period last year.
  • Consolidated EBITDA (a non GAAP measure) increased 123% to $3.2 million compared to $1.4 million for the same period last year.
  • The Company paid its 50th consecutive quarterly dividend on its Series B Cumulative Convertible Preferred shares of $.20 per share, on April 1, 2015 to shareholders of record as of March 16, 2015.

"The significant growth in sales and earnings was generated by a number of positive factors, beginning with 32 newly built or acquired restaurants coming on-line using our back-of-house operating and accounting systems. Our managers in both the Wendy's and casual restaurant segments did a great job managing food and labor costs during the first quarter" stated Robert E. Schermer, Jr. the Company's CEO.

The new Wendy's standard design termed "image activation" continues to produce record restaurant-level sales increases for the Company in both new and renovated restaurants. Meritage is planning to complete 14 image activated restaurants by the end of 2015. We believe the new image activation Wendy's restaurants will provide a multi-year catalyst for sales and earnings growth as the brand transformation journey continues.

Meritage has distinguished itself as a performance leader and innovator in the quick service and casual restaurant segments, achieving best in class results through strategic acquisitions, development & design innovation, and people committed to operational excellence. The leadership in our restaurants and throughout our company is not only providing strong performance in the short term, but is developing the leaders we will need to accommodate our growth well into the future. We believe these pillars of our growth strategy will continue to yield double-digit growth rates and shareholder returns" added Mr. Schermer.

The Company reiterated its 2015 Outlook: Robust Growth

This included the following year over year financial expectations:

  • Sales growth of 25% to 30%
  • EBITDA growth (a non-GAAP measure) of 60% to 65%
  • Net Income growth of 95% to 100%

About Meritage

Meritage is one of the nation's premier restaurant operators, currently operating 151 quick service and casual dining restaurants in six states. The Company is headquartered in Grand Rapids and employs a workforce of approximately 4,100. 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 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.

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.

CONTACT: Robert E. Schermer, Jr., CEO Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. 616/776-2600 ext. 1012Source:Meritage Hospitality Group Inc.