Published in Breaking News

Meritage Hospitality reports preliminary 2015 earnings

BY MiBiz Staff Friday, February 12, 2016 10:08am

GRAND RAPIDS — Restaurant operator Meritage Hospitality Inc. (OTCQX: MHGU) says it expects sales growth in the 5 percent to 10 percent range for 2016.

In a statement, the Grand Rapids-based Meritage, which operates Wendy’s fast food eateries in seven states and fast casual dining restaurants in Michigan, said it plans to accelerate capital investments this year. Specifically, the company said it planned to renovate 18 existing Wendy’s locations to the chain’s new design standard.

Meritage reported that sales increased 31 percent to $210.0 million in 2015 compared to $160.2 million in the previous year. Net income was $7.0 million, up from $2.8 million in 2014.

Earnings from operations were $10.7 million in 2015, compared to $4.3 million in the previous year.

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

“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,” CEO Robert Schermer said in a statement. “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 percent for the year.”

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