TravelCenters of America LLC (TA)

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TravelCenters of America LLC (TA)

Q2 2011 Earnings Call

August 09, 2011 10:00 am ET

Executives

Andrew Rebholz - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer, Executive Vice President and Treasurer

Thomas O'Brien - Chief Executive Officer, President, Managing Director, Member of the Office of the Chairman and Director

Timothy Bonang - Manager of Investor Relations

Analysts

Jeff Geygan - Milwaukee Private Wealth Management

Michael Lasser - UBS Investment Bank

Kevin Roth

Matthew Sherwood

Susan Anderson - Citigroup Inc

Benjamin Brownlow - Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc.

Presentation

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to the TravelCenters of America's Second Quarter 2011 Financial Results Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] And as a reminder, today's call is being recorded. Now, with that being said, I'll turn the conference now to Mr. Tim Bonang, Vice President, Investor Relations.

Timothy Bonang

Thank you. Good morning, and welcome, everyone. Our agenda today includes remarks by Tom O'Brien, our Chief Executive Officer; and Andy Rebholz, our Chief Financial Officer. After the presentation, there will be a question-and-answer session.

Today's conference call contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other securities laws. These forward-looking statements are based on TA's present beliefs and expectations as of today, August 9, 2011. TA undertakes no obligation to revise or publicly release the results of any revisions of the forward-looking statements made today other than as required by law. Actual results may differ materially from those implied or included in any forward-looking statements. Additional information concerning factors that could cause our forward-looking statements not to occur is contained in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance upon any forward-looking statements. I would also note that the recording and retransmission of today's conference call is strictly prohibited without prior written consent of TA. And now I will turn the call over to Tom O'Brien.

Thomas O'Brien

Good morning, and thank you for joining our call today. I'm here to report our results for the 2011 second quarter, during which TA again posted improvement over the comparable prior-year period.

For the 2011 second quarter, we achieved net income of nearly $22 million or $0.99 per share. Overall fuel volume for the 2011 second quarter increased 4.3% versus the 2010 second quarter. In addition, to second quarter 2011 freight volumes, which were somewhat larger than in the same period in 2010, and we believe our marketing and sales efforts have had positive impact on our business as have our gasoline pricing and branding strategies.

Fuel margin per gallon during the 2011 second quarter was $0.162 versus $0.147 for the 2010 period. Falling fuel prices during May and June helped these margins. Our nonfuel sales increased 9.7% for the 2011 second quarter, while 2011 second quarter total EBITDAR increased 9.4%, each as compared to the 2010 period.

Our increase in EBITDAR, coupled with the reduction in the rent and interest payments that was effective in January 2011 were the 2 factors principally responsible for the $20-plus million improvement in our net income in the second quarter of 2011 versus the second quarter of 2010.

Net income year to date, June 30, 2011, was $5 million.

We've also added a number of new sites during the second quarter of 2011. In a moment, Andy will take you through our same-store results, but I want to provide you with an update on where we stand on these new sites.

The travel center in Carl's Corner, Texas that we purchased at a foreclosure auction in March was opened for business as a Petro Stopping Center on May 1, 2011. We are already seeing very positive results for this facility and making plans to expand it further. The travel center in Salina, Kansas that we purchased from a former franchisee, pursuant to our exercise of our rights to do so, again began to operate as a Petro in late June 2011.

At the sites in Indiana and Illinois that we purchased in May, all except one are expected to be reflagged as Petro or TA before the end of September 2011. In fact, 2 were reflagged as TAs in the past 2 weeks. The single location that will not be rebranded by September 30, 2011, is expected to be substantially renovated and rebranded as a Petro within the next 12 months.

Our total purchase price for all of these properties was $37.8 million and, through June 30, 2011, we've spent $2.8 million renovating and improving them. We expect to invest an additional approximately $17 million completing all of them.

Despite the addition of these operations for less than the full second quarter, these new sites, together with the results from our national location, which reopened in February, 2011, contributed a combined $3.5 million to our total gross margins, despite not yet enjoying the full benefit of the planned and completed improvement. Essentially, these are all of the sites that are not included as same site, which Andy will talk about in a second.

Key areas for us for the balance of the year include a continued focus on our industry-leading customer service delivery to drive overall business and market share, the completion of the rebranding of our new sites, and a focus on improving what is virtually the only negative I see in our 2011 results year-to-date, which is a slightly lower nonfuel gross margin percentage on a same-site basis.

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