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MTY Group swings to 2021 profit as Q4 earnings jump 24% despite restaurant closures


MTY Food Group Inc. swung to a profit last year as fourth-quarter earnings jumped 24 per cent despite government-mandated restaurant closures.

The Montreal-based restaurant franchisor and operator says its net income attributable to owners was $85.6 million or $3.46 per diluted share in 2021 on $551.9 million of revenues.

That compared with a net loss of $37.1 million or $1.50 per share on $511.1 million in revenues in 2020.

In the three months ended Nov. 30, MTY says it earned $24.9 million or $1 per share, up from $20.1 million or 81 cents per share a year earlier.

The company behind more than 80 restaurant brands including Thai Express, Tiki-Ming and Tutti Frutti says revenues were $146.3 million, up 15 per cent from $127.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2020.

MTY was expected to earn $23.3 million on $145.4 million of revenues in the quarter, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

"After nearly two years of navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic, the incredible resilience of our franchise partners and staff made it possible for MTY to once again deliver robust financial results in fiscal '21, demonstrating the strength of its business model and the benefits of having a diversified portfolio of great brands,'' CEO Eric Lefebvre said during a conference call with analysts.

The company says system sales rose eight per cent to $962.5 million in the fourth quarter with sales increasing 24% in Canada, 12% internationally and down one per cent in the U.S. due to foreign exchange.

MTY says 164 restaurants were temporarily closed at the beginning of the quarter and 82 of 6,719 locations closed at the end of the quarter. Closures were reduced to 71 as of Wednesday despite additional lockdowns in the first quarter.

It says 259 locations were closed one or more days during the quarter, representing about 9,500 lost business days.

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