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    TravelCenters of America Sees 1Q Revenues Climb

    Company sees net loss of $16.7 million, smaller loss than a year ago.

    WESTLAKE, Ohio -- TravelCenters of America (TA) saw its revenues climb for its first quarter ended March 31, 2011, compared to the period a year prior.

    Revenues for the chain of 229 sites, 166 of which are operated under the TravelCenters of America or TA brands and 63 of which were operated under the Petro brands, were $1.78 billion, up from $1.38 billion in the first quarter of 2010.

    The chain recorded a net loss of $16.7 million, compared to a net loss of $41.2 million the year before.

    "A significant factor in this favorable change in net loss was the reduction in real estate rent expense that resulted from the lease amendment TA entered with Hospitality Properties Trust, or HPT, effective January 1, 2011, that reduced TA's annual rent payments by approximately $42 million," the company said in a statement. "TA's results also reflected improvement in EBITDAR, which increased by $11.3 million in the 2011 first quarter over the 2010 first quarter."

    TravelCenters of America sold 500.8 million gallons of gasoline in the quarter, compared to 503.8 million in the period a year ago. Total fuel sales were close to $1.5 billion, compared to $1.1 billion in the first quarter 2010. Gross margin per gallon was 12.2 cents, compared to 10 cents a year ago.

    Total nonfuel revenues for the quarter increased from $261.76 million in the first quarter of 2010 to $285.38 million quarter this year. The company credited an increase in prices and bump in customer spending as the economy improves.

    TA's operating results are typically at their lowest in the first quarter of the year because freight movement by professional truck drivers and motorist travel typically are at their lowest levels of the year during the winter months and certain of TA's expenses are fixed, the company noted.

    During the three months, the retailer spent approximately $15 million on improvements to its existing sites.


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