Chanticleer Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:HOTR), owner, operator and franchisor of multiple branded restaurants in the U.S. and abroad, today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2016.

Mike Pruitt, Chairman and CEO of Chanticleer commented, “During the first quarter we achieved strong revenue growth and restaurant EBITDA increased 85% to $1 million. Our Better Burger business, which accounted for 48% of our sales up from 17% last year, performed well with excellent store level economics due to the strength of our regional brands. We are focused on expanding our Better Burger concepts and recently announced plans to open 3 additional Little Big Burger locations in Portland by the end of the year. We also signed a new BGR franchisee with plans to open five stores in the Salt Lake City market and an agreement to open up to 10 Little Big Burger stores in the Seattle market.

“We are additionally beginning to benefit from the increased scale of the business as well as aggressive efficiency initiatives. General and Administrative expenses reduced to 15% of sales for the quarter compared to 22% in the same quarter last year. We are continuing the process of integrating and streamlining our acquired operations, and expect those actions to result in further margin improvement in the second half of the year.”

First Quarter Revenue Increases 34%; Adjusted EBITDA Improves 22%

Total revenue was $11.6 million, a 34.0% increase as compared to revenue of $8.7 million in the same prior year quarter. The increase resulted from the significant growth in our Better Burger group and was partially offset by lower revenues from our Hooters group.

Restaurant revenues increased 34.3% to $11.3 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2016 as compared with the same quarter last year. Revenue increased as growth in store count was partially offset by reduced revenue levels at our Hooters Australia restaurants, combined with the unfavorable impact of foreign currency rates on financial statement translation. Same store sales improved 10.9% in the Better Burger category and 2.0% in the Just Fresh business, while same stores sales in the Hooters business declined largely due to foreign currency fluctuations and local economic conditions in our international markets.

Chanticleer reported a loss from continuing operations of $1.6 million in the first quarter of 2016 as compared to a loss from continuing operations of $1.9 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2015. Chanticleer recorded a net loss of $1.4 million, or $0.07 per basic and diluted share in the first quarter of fiscal 2016, compared with a net loss of $2.3 million or $0.27 per basic and diluted share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2015.

Non-GAAP Adjusted EBITDA was a loss of $640 thousand for the quarter compared to a loss of $821 thousand in the first quarter of 2015. Approximately $440 thousand of the first quarter 2016 adjusted EBITDA loss was attributable to the Company’s Australia and Budapest Hooters operations in the quarter. Non-GAAP Restaurant EBITDA was $998 thousand for the quarter compared to $540 thousand in the first quarter of 2015.

Mike Pruitt continued, “Our iconic Hooters brand continues to resonate internationally with most of our stores performing well. We have seen improved performance at four of our five Australia locations as the recently strengthened management team drives operational improvements. However, those improvements have been slower than planned and two of our international stores are underperforming; we expect to drive further improvements or take other actions to reduce the negative impact in the near term.

“We plan to grow our Better Burger business while implementing cost reduction initiatives throughout the organization and continue to strengthen our financial performance going forward.” (Original Source)

Shares of Chanticleer Holdings Inc closed yesterday at $0.68, up $0.02 or 3.03%. HOTR has a 1-year high of $4.18 and a 1-year low of $0.60. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $0.79 and its 200-day moving average is $0.89.

Chanticleer Holdings, Inc. owns and operates hooters branded restaurants in emerging international markets, which are casual beach-themed establishments with sports on television, jukebox music and hooters girls. The company operates in the restaurant ownership and management business. Chanticleer Holdings was founded on October 21, 1999 and is headquartered in Charlotte, NC.