Despite the slowing economy and and a decline in fuel volumes, TravelCenters of America posted better results for the fourth quarter and full-year 2008 than the previous year.

For the fourth quarter, TA showed a profit, with net income of $1.36 million on revenues of $1.31 billion, compared to a loss of $68.89 million on revenues of $1.8 billion for fourth-quarter 2007. For all of 2008, the company showed a net loss of $40.2 million on revenues of $7.66 billion, but that's better than the 2007 net loss of $123.36 million on revenues of $6.17 billion.

The significant slowing of the U.S. economy presented TA with numerous operating challenges. TA experienced, on a same site basis, a 14 percent decline in fuel volumes for the 2008 fourth quarter as compared to the 2007 fourth quarter. For the year, it was a 15 percent decline. TA believes that its fuel volume declines are in line with declines in trucking activity and diesel fuel consumption.

Despite these business conditions, TA believes it has made progress toward adjusting its business to these challenges. TA's net income, EBITDAR and Adjusted EBITDAR for the fourth quarter of 2008 improved over the same period of 2007 by $70.3 million, $56 million and $49.2 million, respectively. For the year, TA's net loss, EBITDAR and Adjusted EBITDAR improved over 2007 by $83.2 million, $164.5 million, and $86.6 million, respectively.

TA believes that its operating initiatives have been significant contributors to these improved results; specifically, the staffing reorganization undertaken to realize Petro integration synergies, the personnel cost savings related to the workforce reduction announced in March 2008, the termination of a fuel marketing arrangement with a third party marketer and numerous cost reduction, fuel purchasing and pricing strategies which were designed to improve TA's operating margins.

As of Dec. 31, TA's business included 233 sites, 166 of which were operated under the "TravelCenters of America" or "TA" brand names and 67 that were operated under the "Petro" brand name.