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TravelCenters Of America LLC's CEO Discusses Q3 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Late in the third quarter, we completed several of our planned capital projects at these new sites. The remaining projects we expect to undertake include the construction and opening of 3 truck service and repair facilities and a near total redevelopment of a large property in Indiana. We estimate that we will invest an additional $20 million in these projects, and that these investments will commence during the 2011 fourth quarter or early in 2012.

During the third quarter, these new sites contributed to combine $4.5 million to our total gross margins. And today, we're not yet realizing the full benefit of the planned and completed improvements.

In addition to the company operated sites we've added, we're also pleased to have signed new franchise agreements for 4 additional locations so far in 2011. One began to operate under the Petro flag in January. Another opened in July. And the remaining 2, one to be a Petro and one to be a TA, are expected to come online before the current year end.

We're also continuing other capital investments. Before the end of 2011, I expect that 75 of our locations will have installed on-island diesel exhaust fluid or DEF dispensers, and that substantially all of our company and franchisee-operated locations will deliver this product on-Island before the end of the 2012. Although sales of DEF have been modest to date, the percentage of vehicles that require DEF has begun to increase to a material percentage of many trucking company fleets.

During 2011 to date, we've also rebranded 37 gasoline offers from unbranded or underperforming brands to market-leading national brands. Sales increases of gasoline at those sites have generally outperformed our other sites.

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