GRAND RAPIDS — Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. (OTCQX: MHGU) continues on a growth streak that includes a string of completed acquisitions and a continued effort to renovate facilities.
The Grand Rapids-based franchisee of Wendy’s stores and multiple casual sit-down restaurants generated $312.6 million in sales for 2017, a 32.6-percent year-over-year increase, according to a preliinary earnings statement. For the year, Meritage Hospitality reported net income of $9 million, which compares to $6.4 million in 2016.
The company also reported that its consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation or amortization (EBITDA) grew 42.7 percent from the previous year to $26.4 million.
Meritage Hospitality CEO Robert Schermer said that much of the company’s sales growth was driven by ongoing efforts to renovate its Wendy’s locations as they’ve been acquired. The updating process can cost between $500,000 and $1.4 million, as MiBiz previously reported.
“Customers continue to reward us for the Wendy’s modernization program throughout our U.S. designated market areas,” Schermer stated.
Meritage Hospitality reported that it developed or acquired 74 additional restaurants in 2017, ending the year with a total of 255 stores in operation.
However, the company continued to grow since the end of the year, recently completing three separate acquisitions, as MiBiz reported earlier this month.
“Looking ahead, we are set up for a significant growth year in 2018 with momentum in acquisitions, renovations and new construction,” Schermer said in a statement. “Growth within the Wendy’s system provides us the opportunity to leverage our operating systems and restaurant development expertise, capitalizing on Wendy’s distinct brand advantages of quality, convenience, and value.”