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Meritage Reports Second Quarter 2019 Results; Earnings Growth Ahead

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., July 18, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. (OTCQX: MHGU), one of the nationa??s premier restaurant operators, today reported financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019.
Second Quarter Highlights

Sales increased 1.5% to $118.7 million from $116.9 million for the same period last year.



Earnings from Operations were $6.4 million versus $8.9 million for the same period last year.



Net Earnings were $3.8 million compared to $5.6 million for the same period last year. The change in Net Earnings reflects a negative year over year non-cash GAAP change of $3.0 million resulting from the Companya??s interest rate swap agreements, which are measured at fair value based on mark-to-market.



Consolidated EBITDA (a non-GAAP measure) increased 3.6% to $12.6 million compared to $12.1 million for the same period last year.

a??We are pleased with the successful integration of acquired, newly constructed and renovated Wendya??s restaurants. A We continue to focus on executing our 5-year plan, accelerating same-restaurant sales and building new restaurants in order to achieve our long term growth targets,a?? stated Robert Schermer, Jr., the Companya??s CEO.Six-Month Highlights

Sales for the six months increased 5.5% to $228.4 million compared to sales of $216.6 million for the same period last year.



Earnings from Operations were $11.8 million compared to $13.1 million last year.



Net Earnings increased 11.0% to $7.8 million compared to $7.1 million for the same period last year. A Net Earnings reflects a negative year over year non-cash GAAP change of $3.4 million resulting from the Companya??s interest rate swap agreements, which are measured at fair value based on mark-to-market.



Consolidated EBITDA (a non-GAAP measure) increased 31.0% to $25.0 million compared to $19.1 million last year.

The Company has committed significant long term capital resources to the Wendya??s brand initiatives, and recently announced an agreement to build 40 new Wendya??s restaurants by the end of 2024 under the Groundbreaking Incentive Program. Same store sales in newly built and re-imaged restaurants continue to deliver strong results as guests are rewarding us for the upgraded facilities and improved overall consumer experience.Meritage continues to distinguish itself as a leader and innovator in the quick service and casual restaurant segments, striving for best in class results through a performance based culture committed to operational excellence, strategic acquisitions and real estate development.Company 2019 Full-Year Financial Targets: Solid Growth Ahead

Sales growth of +10% to 20%



Net Earnings growth of +10% to 20%



EBITDA growth of +15 to 25%



Common stock dividend growth of +50% to 60%

About the CompanyMeritage Hospitality Group is one of the nationa??s premier restaurant operators, with 321 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 10,000 employees. The Company has approximately 6.2 million (basic) common shares outstanding. The Companya??s public filings can be viewed at www.otcmarkets.com, under the stock symbol MHGU, or the Companya??s website www.meritagehospitality.com.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.A  Factors set forth in our Safe Harbor Statement, in addition to other possible factors not listed, could affect the Companya??s actual results and cause such results to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements.A  Please review the Companya??s Safe Harbor Statement at https://www.meritagehospitality.com.A A 
CONTACT:
Robert E. Schermer, Jr., CEO
Meritage Hospitality Group Inc.
616-776-2600 ext. 1012
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