GRAND RAPIDS — First quarter sales for growing restaurant operator Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. reached nearly $100 million.
An operator of Wendy’s franchises across 16 states, Meritage reported sales rose 60.8 percent on a year-over-year basis to $99.7 million during the “eventful” first quarter that ended April 1, according to a statement.
The quarterly results included a one-time $745,000 charge for opening and acquisition costs. Net income for Meritage (OTCQX:MHGU) dipped $500,000 to $1.4 million
During the quarter, the company completed four acquisitions and integrated a 56-location Wendy’s portfolio into its operating platform. Meritage also opened seven new or renovated stores in the quarter.
Through the end of 2018, Meritage expects to accelerate its investment spending, according to CEO Robert Schermer Jr., with a target of opening 32 renovated or new Wendy’s locations.
“Our new and newly renovated Wendy’s restaurants continue to out-perform, positioning the Company for transformational sales and earnings growth ahead,” Schermer stated.
The company also said it expected 2018 sales, EBITDA and net earnings growth all to be in the range of 40-50 percent. Meritage projects earnings from operations to increase 55-65 percent, according to a statement.
The Grand Rapids-based Meritage operates 310 restaurants and employs about 9,400 people. The company has locations in Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.