GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., May 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. (OTCQX: MHGU), the nation’s premier franchise operator, announced today during the Annual Shareholders Meeting, that the Company’s shareholders elected eight directors: Chris A. Armbruster, Duane F. Kluting, Joseph L. Maggini Sr., Dirk J. Pruis, Gary A. Rose, Robert E. Schermer, Sr., Robert E. Schermer, Jr. and Peter D. Wierenga. Each director will serve a one-year term until the 2022 Annual Shareholders Meeting. The CEO’s Report is available on the Company’s website and OTCQX: MHGU.
Common Stock Special Dividend
Following the Annual Shareholders Meeting, the Company’s Board of Directors approved a quarterly dividend of $0.08 per share. The dividend is payable on July 1, 2021 to shareholders of record on June 15, 2021.
“After a robust first quarter, with fully diluted EPS of $0.56 compared to a loss of ($0.64) for the same period last year, we are very pleased to report year-to-date dividend growth of 128%. We entered the second quarter of the year with strong sales momentum, supported by outstanding restaurant operating teams and the continued strength of the Wendy’s restaurant brand. We remain focused on executing our priorities for the year, including hiring new employees and guest safety while delivering speed, convenience and quality food,” stated Meritage CEO, Robert E. Schermer, Jr.
The Company is ramping up its multi-year growth initiatives and has allocated significant capital resources to the Wendy’s brand with plans to build 20 new locations and modernize 30 existing locations in 2021. The Company’s full-year financial targets reflect the gradual re-opening of dine-in operations to 100% capacity as the year progresses, along with the continued development of new and wholly owned brands.
2021 Full-Year Outlook: Strong Growth Ahead
ㆍSales growth of +10% to 15%
ㆍEarnings from Operations growth of +20% to 30%
ㆍNet Earnings growth of +20% to 30%
ㆍEBITDA growth of +15% to 20%
ㆍDividend growth +100% to 125%
The Company remains focused on delivering quality, convenience and affordability, while leveraging its best-in-class operating platform and the continued execution of its five-year business plan to expand up to 400 Wendy’s restaurants and develop new brands.
About the Company
Meritage Hospitality Group is one of the nation’s premier restaurant operators, currently with 342 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 11,000 employees. At fiscal year-end 2020, the Company had total weighted average fully diluted common shares outstanding of 9,407,417 and Fully Diluted EPS of $1.58.
The Company’s current and publicly available information pursuant to SEC Rule 15c2-11 and FINRA Rule 6432 can be found at www.otcmarkets.com, under the stock symbol MHGU/Disclosures or the Company’s website, www.meritagehospitality.com.
SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT
Certain information in this new 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.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Robert E. Schermer, Jr., CEO
Meritage Hospitality Group, Inc.