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As ClubCorp reports a sixth consecutive year of revenue growth the company39s board is also looking at a possible sale Photo courtesy ClubCorp
<p>As ClubCorp reports a sixth consecutive year of revenue growth, the company&#39;s board is also looking at a possible sale. (Photo courtesy ClubCorp.)</p>

ClubCorp Reports Sixth Consecutive Year of Record Results

ClubCorp reported 2016 revenue of $1.1 billion, a 3.4 percent increase from the previous year. The growth comes as the company continues to look at ways to improve shareholder value after an active investor asked the board to consider selling the company.&nbsp;

ClubCorp, Dallas, reported 2016 revenue of $1.1 billion and fourth quarter 2016 revenue of $345.3 million, according to its financial report released on Wednesday.

The 2016 revenue was an increase of $35.6 million or 3.4 percent. The fourth quarter revenue was an increase of $13.6 million or 4.1 percent.

The earnings report comes four weeks after the company announced that it had established a strategic review committee to evaluate how to enhance shareholder value, including, as Reuters reported, a possible sale of the company.

The review was prompted in part by a letter sent to the board of directors by an active investor urging the board to sell the company because ClubCorp's stock price had fallen 40 percent in the past year.

As of Wednesday, the company's 52-week high was $17.50 and its low was $10.54. Stock closed at $17.45 on Tuesday, its stock price rising in the past month since talk of a possible sale emerged.

Imperial Capital's George Kelly told Benzinga that he saw five reasons for ClubCorp to be purchased, including that the company had almost completed a $50 million IT project that would increase margins and that the company would be able to sell its "trophy properties" for 12 times EBITDA, which could be used to cut debt.  

During 2016, ClubCorp acquired three clubs: Heritage Golf and Country Club in Hilliard, Ohio; Santa Rosa Country Club in Santa Rosa, California; and Marsh Creek Country Club in St. Augustine, Florida. ClubCorp also entered into a management agreement to operate the Country Club of Columbus in Columbus, Georgia. The acquisitions put ClubCorp's owned or operated club numbers at 159 golf and country clubs, nine of which are managed clubs, and 47 business, sports and alumni clubs, three of which are managed clubs. Many of the company's facilities include fitness centers.

The company also announced on Wednesday that it had acquired North Hills Country Club in Philadelphia. Earlier this month, ClubCorp acquired Eagle's Nest Country Club in Baltimore

New clubs opened or acquired in 2015 and 2016 contributed revenue of $51.3 million and adjusted EBITDA of $7.6 million. Same-store club revenue increased $18.8 million to $1 billion during the year, driven by increases in dues, which were up 3.1 percent, and increases in food and beverage, which increased 2.4 percent. Revenue from golf operations, however, was down 0.7 percent.

Total memberships for the company grew by 1.8 percent in 2016 to 174,348 memberships, excluding managed clubs. Memberships at golf and country clubs increased 3.9 percent while memberships at business, sports and alumni clubs declined 2.6 percent for the year.

Approximately 54 percent of memberships were enrolled in ClubCorp's Optimal Network Experiences (O.N.E.) or similar upgrade programs as compared to approximately 50 percent of memberships at the end of 2015. The O.N.E. program allows members access to any of the company's clubs as well as special offers at 1,000 hotels, resorts and entertainment venues.

For 2017, ClubCorp expects ROI expansion capital to be approximately $40 million, $26 million of which will be for same-store clubs and $14 million of which will be for recently acquired clubs, including the two clubs acquired in 2017. 

When asked in a financial call with analysts on Wednesday about whether ClubCorp will increase its fitness facilities at its clubs, ClubCorp CEO Eric Affeldt responded: "Some of our fitness facilities are quite functional and quite nice but limited in scale. We do have a few clubs that we're looking at right now where we have the ability to expand the fitness materially. One of our business clubs in Houston, we actually announced a major improvement to one of our downtown business clubs, which frankly is more of a fitness facility than it is a pure dining fitness club. So it's a case-by-case basis, depending upon how much space we have to either expand existing fitness or build brand new fitness space."

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