TravelCenters of America yesterday reported a net loss of $0.3 million for the third quarter of 2000, versus net income of $0.1 million for the same period in 1999.
For the nine months ended Sept. 30, TA had a net loss of $3.2 million as compared to net income of $0.2 million for the same period in 1999.
TA says results reflect softer demand for diesel fuel on the U.S. interstate highway system, primarily from smaller trucking fleets and fewer independent truck drivers, as a result of both the sharp rise in and the volatility of diesel fuel prices. In July 2000, as a result of the sharp rise in diesel fuel prices, TA instituted a more aggressive street pricing posture in order to reverse the trend of declining same-site diesel fuel sales volumes as compared to the prior year. So far, this
strategy has been successful, reducing the shortfall in same-site diesel
fuel volume from 11.3% for the second quarter of 2000 to 6% for the
two-month period of August and September.
"By adopting a more aggressive fuel pricing position and by increasing higher-margin, non-fuel revenues, we have been able to offset the effect on EBITDA of the slight decreases in same-site diesel fuel sales volumes," says TA President and CEO Ed Kuhn."
Operating expenses as a percentage of non-fuel sales were also lower for the quarter compared to last year. In addition, TA launched its new RoadKing Club customer loyalty program in September. "Driver response to the card-based program has been tremendous, with more than 200,000 professional drivers enrolling in the program during the first four weeks.'' Kuhn added.