VAUGHAN, ON, May 9, 2019 /CNW/ - Recipe Unlimited Corporation (formerly Cara Operations) reported financial results today for the 13 weeks ending March 31, 2019.
"In the first quarter, System Sales grew by $94.8 million or 12.5% to $850.7 million, contributing to Operating EBITDA and Operating EBITDA Margin improvements. Operating EBITDA increased to $50.1 million, representing 8.4% growth over last year. Our steady Operating EBITDA growth continues to drive our strong Free Cash Flow position, leaving us well positioned to take advantage of future growth opportunities. Our Corporate, Franchise and Retail & Catering segments all demonstrated year-over-year growth in absolute dollars and as a percent of sales. The new pie production line that was added in the third quarter of 2018 has increased production capacity and has helped us meet the increased demand for our St-Hubert and Swiss Chalet frozen pie products, contributing to the growth in the Retail & Catering segment in the first quarter. We are excited about further growth in this segment in 2019 as we continue to expand our Recipe branded retail product offerings in grocery," commented Frank Hennessey, Chief Executive Officer.
"While we are satisfied with the growth of System Sales and Operating EBITDA, we continue to focus on Same Restaurant Sales which decreased 1.6% in the quarter. Our ongoing goal is to increase guest visits into our restaurants by improving their overall experience. We are in the early days of our 4-Pillar operational strategy which will drive ongoing improvements in the areas of Quality of Food, Quality of Service, Value for Experience and Ambience. While the metrics we use to measure our progress demonstrate recent improvement on all 4 Pillars, there is still much work to be done and upside to be realized," Mr. Hennessey added.
Highlights for the 13 weeks ended March 31, 2019:
- The Company generates significant Free Cash Flow which provides the Company the ability to fund growth and enhance shareholder returns. Free Cash Flow before growth capex, dividends, and share repurchases under the Company's normal course issuer bid ("NCIB") for the 13 weeks ended March 31, 2019 was $35.1 million compared to $33.2 million for the 13 weeks ended April 1, 2018, an increase of $1.9 million or 5.7%.
Free Cash Flow per share before growth capex, dividends, and NCIB on a diluted basis was $0.55 for the 13 weeks ended March 31, 2019 compared to $0.53 for 2018, an increase of $0.02 per share or 3.8%.
- Subsequent to the quarter, the Company completed the refinancing of its $550.0 million credit facilities on more favorable borrowing terms and raised $250.0 million of 10 year 4.72% Private Notes. This increase in borrowing capacity coupled with the Company strong Free Cash Flow will enable the Company to fund growth and pursue strategic opportunities to further enhance shareholder value.
- System Sales grew $94.8 million to $850.7 million for the 13 weeks ended March 31, 2019 compared to 2018, representing an increase of 12.5%. The increase in System Sales is primarily related to the addition The Keg in February 2018 and increases in the retail and catering segment from the Swiss Chalet branded products at grocery, increases in frozen pot pie sales from the addition of the new pie production line, and the addition of Marigolds and Onions in December 2018.
- Same Restaurant Sales ("SRS") Growth for the 13 weeks ended March 31, 2019 was a decrease of 1.6% compared to the same 13 weeks in 2018. Contributing factors to our SRS results include mixed performance between our brands; early progress on our new 4-pillar operating model, with much work still to be done; and challenging winter weather conditions across the country.
- Operating EBITDA increased to $50.1 million for the 13 weeks ended March 31, 2019 compared to $46.2 million in 2018, an improvement of $3.9 million or 8.4% for the quarter. The increases were driven by the improved contribution from the corporate and franchise segments related to the addition of The Keg in February 2018, and increases in the retail and catering segment which offset full quarter net central expenses from The Keg.
- Operating EBITDA Margin on System Sales before The Keg royalty expense, was 6.3% for the quarter compared to 6.3% in 2018. Operating EBITDA Margin on System Sales after The Keg royalty expense was 5.9% for the quarter as compared to 6.1% in 2018. While The Keg adds EBITDA dollars, because of higher net central overhead costs and the royalty payments to The Keg Royalty Income Fund, in the medium term, The Keg merger will reduce Recipe's Operating EBITDA margin on System Sales below the target 7% to 8% range. Management's focus will continue to be on improving the earnings efficiency of our assets and our increased sales base to grow Operating EBITDA as a percentage of System Sales back to within our 7% to 8% target range by 2020-2022.
- Contribution from retail and catering for the 13 weeks ended March 31, 2019 was $4.5 million compared to $3.3 million for the 13 weeks ended April 1, 2018, an increase of $1.2 million or 36.4% for the quarter. The increases are primarily driven by sales increases of Swiss Chalet branded products at grocery, increases in frozen pot pie sales from the addition of the new pie production line, the addition of The Keg retail business in February and the addition of Marigolds and Onions in December 2018.
- Earnings before income taxes for the 13 weeks ended March 31, 2019 was $31.3 million compared to $29.3 million in 2018, an increase of $2.0 million or 6.8%. The increase was driven by the improved contribution from the corporate and franchise segments related to the addition of The Keg in February 2018, increases in the corporate, franchise, retail and catering segments, increase in non-cash fair value adjustment related to the Exchangeable Keg Partnership units, partially offset by a net $0.3 million decrease in earnings related to the new IFRS Lease Standard .
- Adjusted Net Earnings for the 13 weeks ended March 31, 2019 was $17.7 million compared to $20.6 million in 2018, a decrease of $2.9 million for the quarter. The decrease is primarily related to higher stock based compensation expense of $1.4 million, higher income tax expense of $0.8 million; and the adoption of the new IFRS 16 Lease Standard which caused a decrease in net earnings of $0.3 million. The decrease was partially offset by improved contribution dollars from the corporate, franchise, retail and catering segments.
- Basic Earnings per Share ("EPS") for the 13 weeks ended March 31, 2019 was $0.36 compared to $0.36 in 2018, while Diluted EPS for the 13 weeks ended March 31, 2019 was $0.35 compared to $0.35 in 2018.
- Under the Company's NCIB, the Company purchased and cancelled 266,197 Subordinate Voting Shares for $7.1 million during the 13 weeks ended March 31, 2019. Subsequent to March 31, 2019 until May 9, 2019 , the Company has repurchased 120,650 Recipe subordinate voting shares for $3.2 million under the NCIB and has purchased 983,160 subordinate voting shares for $25.5 million since June 22, 2018.
- On May 9, 2019, the Company's Board of Directors declared a dividend of $0.1121 per share of subordinate and multiple voting common stock, representing a 5% increase over the 2018 quarterly dividend rate, or approximately $6.9 million in aggregate. Payment of the dividend will be made on June 14, 2019 to shareholders of record at the close of business on May 31, 2019. With the Company's strong balance sheet and growing cash flows, management will continue to pursue strategic acquisitions and will explore alternatives to return more capital to its shareholders including continuation of its NCIB and increases to the Company's dividend rate.
($ millions unless otherwise stated)¹
Total System Sales from continuing operations
Total System Sales Growth²
Number of restaurants (at period end)
Operating EBITDA before Keg royalty
Operating EBITDA Margin on Total System Sales before Keg royalty
Operating EBITDA Margin on System Sales
Corporate restaurant sales
Number of corporate restaurants
Contribution from Corporate segment
Contribution as a % of corporate sales
Franchise restaurant System Sales
Number of franchised & JV restaurants
Contribution from Franchise segment
Contribution as a % of Franchise sales
Contribution from retail and catering
Contribution from Central segment (excluding net royalty expense)
Contribution as a % of total System Sales
Total gross revenue
Operating EBITDA Margin on gross revenue
Earnings before income taxes
Adjusted Net Earnings
EPS attributable to common shareholders of the Company (in dollars)
Adjusted Basic EPS
Adjusted Diluted EPS
Free Cash Flow before growth capex, dividends and NCIB
Free Cash Flow per share - basic (in dollars)
Free Cash Flow per share - diluted (in dollars)
Quarterly Dividend declared per share (in dollars)
(1) See "Non-IFRS Measures" for definitions of System Sales, System Sales Growth, SRS Growth, Operating EBITDA, Adjusted Net Earnings,
Adjusted Basic EPS and Adjusted Diluted EPS.
(2) East Side Mario restaurants in the United States are excluded from System Sales and number of restaurants.
(3) Results from New York Fries located outside of Canada, East Side Mario restaurants in the United States and Casey's restaurants are excluded
from SRS Growth.
The Company's unaudited interim consolidated financial statements for the 13 weeks ended March 31, 2019 and Management's Discussion and Analysis are available under the Company's profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Despite negative SRS, the Company saw improvements with Operating EBITDA and Operating EBITDA Margin for the quarter. System Sales grew $94.8 million or 12.5% to $850.7 million, Operating EBITDA before the net royalty expense increased $6.3 million or 13.2% to $53.9 million with a contribution margin of 6.3% as a percentage of Total System Sales.
Management provides the following comments regarding its strategies and initiatives:
- Free Cash Flow — The Company generates significant Free Cash Flow which provides the Company the ability to fund growth and enhance shareholder returns. Free Cash Flow before growth capex, dividends, and share repurchases under the Company's normal course issuer bid ("NCIB") for the 13 weeks ended March 31, 2019 was $35.1 million compared to $33.2 million for the 13 weeks ended April 1, 2018, an increase of $1.9 million or 5.7%.
Free Cash Flow per share before growth capex, dividends, and NCIB on a diluted basis was $0.55 for the 13 weeks ended March 31, 2019 compared to $0.53 for 2018, an increase of $0.02 per share or 3.8%.
At Q1 2019, the Company's Debt to EBITDA ratio was 1.7x compared 2.2x at the end of Q1 2018, illustrating how quickly the Company's leverage has reduced from Free Cash Flow being used to reduce debt on the Company's revolving credit facility.
Management and the Board of Directors will continue to evaluate alternatives for capital deployment including growth investments, strategic acquisitions and enhanced shareholder returns through dividends and share buybacks.
- System Sales and SRS Growth — Management is satisfied with total System Sales growth of 12.5%, Management is not satisfied with negative SRS of 1.6%. Contributing factors to our SRS results include mixed performance between our brands; early progress on our new 4-pillar operating model, with much work still to be done; and challenging winter weather conditions across the country.
Our ongoing goal is to increase guest counts by improving the overall experience. Our operational focus in achieving this goal is through a disciplined approach to our 4 Pillar plan – Quality of Food, Quality of Service, Value for Experience and Ambience. And while our metrics that we use to measure our progress demonstrate improvement on all 4 pillars, there is still much work to be done. In Q2, most brands will launch new menus that will be optimized to ensure we are improving overall guest satisfaction while reducing complexity for our operations teams. Reducing this complexity will further enhance guest satisfaction and speed of service for both dining room and our growing off premise business. We are using data insights and scorecards to highlight specific areas of opportunity. We can identify specific challenges down to an individual restaurant, day of week and hour of day. This information allows us to work with our operations team on solutions to individual needs. New training programs at both brand and leadership levels are being initiated this year so that we become a better restaurant operating company for both today and the future. Our new renovation incentive program announced last year to assist franchisees with the cost of major renovations, should greatly enhance guest experience and consequently generate positive SRS. This program has been enthusiastically received by franchisees and as a result, we expect to have a significant increase in renovations completed in fiscal 2019.
Management continues to review its portfolio of restaurants to maximize site potential and profitability to the Company. Management's focus will continue to be on the quality of sales from its portfolio of restaurants as we improve site selection, close weaker locations and renovate to improve guest experience. For restaurant locations that no longer fit the longer strategic plan of the Company, Management will take steps to exit these underperforming sites.
- Total Operating EBITDA — Before the impact from the net royalty to The Keg Royalties Income Fund, Total Operating EBITDA margin was 6.3% for the quarter compared to 6.3% in 2018. The combined contributions from Corporate, Franchise, Food Processing and Distribution, and Central segments resulted in Total Operating EBITDA margin of 5.9% for the quarter compared to 6.1% in 2018. While The Keg adds EBITDA dollars, because of net central overhead costs and royalty payments to The Keg Royalties Income Fund in the medium term, The Keg merger will reduce Recipe's Operating EBITDA margin on System Sales below the target 7% to 8% range. Management's focus will continue to be on improving the earnings efficiency of our assets and our increased sales base to grow Operating EBITDA as a percentage of System Sales back to within our 7% to 8% target range by 2020-2022.
- Corporate restaurant profitability — Corporate restaurant profitability for the 13 weeks ended March 31, 2019 was 9.6% compared to 9.0% in 2018. The improvement during the quarter was mostly from the full quarter impact of The Keg which operates within our target range and improvements at Original Joe's. Management believes there is significant opportunity for improved contribution in the future from Original Joe's and Pickle Barrel as Management realizes operating synergies from lower food and beverage costs and better labour management tools. Contribution will also improve as renovated restaurants re-open at higher sales levels and from the sale of certain corporate restaurants in franchise banners.
Management will continue to pursue the sale of certain corporate restaurants in its franchise banners to franchisees and will pursue the sale of its share in joint venture locations to the Company's joint venture partners to convert joint venture locations to franchise to improve the corporate-franchise portfolio mix.
- Franchise segment —Franchise contribution as a percentage of franchise sales has improved to 4.4% compared to 4.1% in 2018. The increase is primarily related to the addition of The Keg which collects average royalties over 5% and from new franchisees that pay full royalties.
Management believes the effective royalty recovery rate will gradually increase over time closer to 5% for franchisees as the Company adds new franchisees and renews existing locations at the full royalty rate. In addition, The Keg will also increase Recipe's overall net royalty rate as new and renewed Keg franchisees pay 6% royalty while others pay 5% until their franchise agreement is renewed.
- Retail and catering — Contribution dollars from retail and catering was $4.5 million compared to $3.3 million in 2018. A new pie production line was added in the third quarter 2018 which has increased production capacity and enabled the Company to meet the increased demand for its St-Hubert and Swiss Chalet frozen pie products with less reliance on higher cost third party producers. Since the acquisition of St-Hubert in 2017, the Company has successfully launched a number of products, including Swiss Chalet ribs and pot pies, across the country in grocery chains. The Company will be adding a new rib line in Q4 2019 to increase its rib production capacity to meet the increased demand. Management is also pursuing the launch of several more Recipe branded retail products to expand its retail presence in national grocery chains. The Company has also added catering sales and contribution as a significant opportunity for growth with the acquisitions of Pickle Barrel catering in December 2017, Rose Reisman catering in December 2017, and Marigolds and Onions in December 2018.
- Central segment — The addition of The Keg has added net central overhead costs, including the royalty payments to The Keg Royalties Income Fund, thus reducing central contribution as a percentage of System Sales. Management will work towards realizing synergy opportunities with the companies acquired as we continue to improve on our model for growing sales faster than head office expenses, and realizing earnings efficiency on higher system sales.
- Restaurant Count — In the 13 weeks ended March 31, 2019, the Company opened 15 new restaurant locations as compared to 17 in the first quarter of 2018 and closed 15 locations as compared to 13 in 2018. Included in the closures were under-performing locations where the closure will benefit the overall system performance and the Company's profitability going forward. Closures also included locations that no longer fit the long term strategy of certain brands. Management will continue to review its portfolio of restaurants and will opportunistically close underperforming or non-strategic locations that will benefit the Company long term.
- Growth and acquisitions —The Company currently has a net debt to EBITDA ratio of approximately 1.7x compared to 1.7x at the end of 2018. At this debt level, and with strong cash flow from operations, the Company has the ability to consider more growth opportunities while continuing to reduce its debt, and by opportunistically repurchasing its subordinate voting shares for cancellation under the NCIB. During the 13 weeks ended March 31, 2019, the Company purchased and cancelled 266,197 Subordinate Voting Shares for $7.1 million under the Company's NCIB program and has purchased 983,160 subordinate voting shares for $25.5 million since June 22, 2018. In addition, the Company's new financing structure positions Recipe for strategic and opportunistic growth at long-term favourable borrowing rates and credit terms. Management believes that locking in long-term fixed rate capital before interest rates increase is prudent and will enable future accretive growth.
The foregoing description of Recipe's outlook is based on management's current strategies and its assessment of the outlook for the business and the Canadian Restaurant Industry as a whole and may constitute "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation, which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to vary. A description of the risks and uncertainties that impact the Company's business are discussed in detail under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Information Form dated March 29, 2019, available on SEDAR. See "Forward Looking Information."
These measures are not recognized measures under IFRS, do not have a standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS and are therefore unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. Rather, these measures are provided as additional information to complement those IFRS measures by providing further understanding of the Company's results of operations from management's perspective. Accordingly, they should not be considered in isolation nor as a substitute for analysis of the Company's financial information reported under IFRS. The Company uses non IFRS measures including "System Sales", "SRS Growth", "EBITDA", "Operating EBITDA", "Operating EBITDA Margin", "Operating EBITDA Margin on System Sales", "Adjusted Net Earnings", "Adjusted Basic EPS", "Adjusted Diluted EPS", and "Free Cash Flow" to provide investors with supplemental measures of its operating performance and thus highlight trends in its core business that may not otherwise be apparent when relying solely on IFRS financial measures. The Company also believes that securities analysts, investors and other interested parties frequently use non IFRS measures in the evaluation of issuers. The Company's management also uses non IFRS measures in order to facilitate operating performance comparisons from period to period, to prepare annual operating budgets, and to determine components of management compensation.
"System Sales" represents top line sales from restaurant guests at both corporate and franchise restaurants including take out and delivery customer orders. System Sales includes sales from both established restaurants as well as new restaurants. System sales also includes sales received from its food processing and distribution division. Management believes System Sales provides meaningful information to investors regarding the size of Recipe's restaurant network, the total market share of the Company's brands sold in restaurant and grocery and the overall financial performance of its brands and restaurant owner base, which ultimately impacts Recipe's consolidated financial performance.
"System Sales Growth" is a metric used in the restaurant industry to compare System Sales over a certain period of time, such as a fiscal quarter, for the current period against System Sales in the same period in the previous year.
"SRS Growth" is a metric used in the restaurant industry to compare sales earned in established locations over a certain period of time, such as a fiscal quarter, for the current period against sales in the same period in the previous year. SRS Growth helps explain what portion of sales growth can be attributed to growth in established locations and what portion can be attributed to the opening of net new restaurants. Recipe defines SRS Growth as the percentage increase or decrease in sales during a period of restaurants open for at least 24 complete fiscal months relative to the sales of those restaurants during the same period in the prior year. Recipe's SRS Growth results excludes Casey's restaurants as the Company is in the process of winding down its operations; and sales from international operations from 45 New York Fries and 3 US East Side Mario's.
"EBITDA" is defined as net earnings before: (i) net interest expense and other financing charges; (ii) income taxes; (iii) depreciation of property, plant and equipment; (iv) amortization of other assets and deferred gain.
"Operating EBITDA" is defined as net earnings before: (i) net interest expense and other financing charges; (ii) income taxes; (iii) depreciation of property, plant and equipment; (iv) amortization of other assets and deferred gain; (v) impairment of assets, net of reversals; (vi) losses on early buyout / cancellation of equipment rental contracts; (vii) restructuring and other; (viii) conversion fees; (ix) net (gain) / loss on disposal of property, plant and equipment; * stock based compensation and costs related to its restricted share units; (xi) changes in onerous contract provision; (xii) expense impact from fair value inventory adjustment resulting from the St-Hubert purchase relating to inventory sold during the period; (xiii) acquisition related transaction costs; (xiv) change in fair value of non-controlling interest liability; (xv) change in fair value of Exchangeable Partnership units; (xvi) the Company's proportionate share of equity accounted investment in joint ventures; (xvii) interest income from the Partnership units; and the rent expense impact related to the implementation of IFRS 16, "Leases".
"Operating EBITDA Margin" is defined as Operating EBITDA divided by total gross revenue.
"Operating EBITDA Margin on System Sales" is defined as Operating EBITDA divided by System Sales.
"Free Cash Flow before capex, dividends and NCIB" is defined as Operating EBITDA less (i) cash interest paid; (ii) maintenance capex; and (iii) cash taxes paid.
"Free Cash Flow after capex, dividends and NCIB" is defined as Operating EBITDA less (i) cash interest paid; (ii) maintenance capex; (iii) cash taxes paid; (iv) growth capex; (vi) dividends paid; (vi) shares repurchased under the NCIB; and (vii ) proceeds from sale of assets.
"Adjusted Net Earnings" is defined as net earnings plus (i) change in fair value of non-controlling interest liability; (ii) change in fair value of Exchangeable Partnership units; (iii) one-time transaction costs; (iv) non-cash impairment charges; and (v) restructuring and other.
"Adjusted Basic EPS" is defined as Adjusted Net Earnings divided by the weighted average number of shares outstanding.
"Adjusted Diluted EPS" is defined as Adjusted Net Earnings divided by the weighted average number of shares outstanding plus the dilutive effect of stock options and RSUs.
Certain statements in this press release may constitute "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company or the industry in which they operate, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. When used in this press release, such statements use words such as "may", "will", "expect", "believe", "plan" and other similar terminology. These statements reflect management's current expectations regarding future events and operating performance and speak only as of the date of this news release. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including those related to: (a) the Company's ability to maintain profitability and manage its growth including SRS Growth, System Sales Growth, increases in net income, Operating EBITDA and Operating EBITDA Margin on System Sales, and Adjusted net earnings (b) competition in the industry in which the Company operates; (c) the general state of the economy; (d) integration of acquisitions by the Company; (e) risk of future legal proceedings against the Company. These risk factors and others are discussed in detail under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Information Form dated March 29, 2019. New risk factors may arise from time to time and it is not possible for management of the Company to predict all of those risk factors or the extent to which any factor or combination of factors may cause actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those contained in forward-looking statements. Given these risks and uncertainties, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results. Although the forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based upon what management believes to be reasonable assumptions, the Company cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release.
Frank Hennessey, Chief Executive Officer and Ken Grondin, Chief Financial Officer, will hold an investor conference call to discuss 2019 first quarter results at 9:00 am Eastern Time on Friday, May 10, 2019.
To access the call, please call (647) 427-7450 or 1-888-231-8191, five to ten minutes prior to the start time. The conference ID is 2755034. A telephone replay of the call will be available until midnight on May 31, 2019. To access the replay, please dial (416) 849-0833 or 1-855-859-2056 and enter passcode 2755034.
Founded in 1883, RECIPE Unlimited Corporation (formerly Cara Operations) is Canada's oldest and largest full-service restaurant company. The Company franchises and/or operates some of the most recognized brands in the country including Swiss Chalet, Harvey's, St-Hubert, The Keg, Milestones, Montana's, Kelsey's, East Side Mario's, New York Fries, Prime Pubs, Bier Markt, Landing, Original Joe's, State & Main, Elephant & Castle, The Burger's Priest, The Pickle Barrel, Marigolds & Onions, and 1909 Taverne Moderne.
RECIPE's iconic brands have established the organization as a nationally recognized franchisor of choice. As at March 31, 2019, Recipe had 22 brands and 1,382 restaurants, 85% of which are operated by franchisees and joint venture partners. RECIPE's shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol RECP. More information about the Company is available at www.recipeunlimited.com.
SOURCE Recipe Unlimited Corp.
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Investor Relations: Recipe Unlimited Corp., Ken Grondin, (905) 760-2244, Chief Financial Officer, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com