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TravelCenters Of America LLC's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Stocks in this article: TA

Thomas M. O'Brien

Good morning. Thank you for joining our call. 2011 was indeed a banner year for TA's financial results. Full year 2011 results included net income of $0.98 a share or $23.6 million, a $90-million improvement over 2010. EBITDAR for the 2011 fourth quarter was $62 million, an increase of $13 million or 28% over the 2010 quarter. For the 2011 full year, our EBITDAR was $272 million, an increase of $35 million or 15% over 2010. Rent and interest expense declined by $59 million. A closer look at our results shows how broad-based our success in 2011 has been. While Andy will run down the results in more detail in a moment, a few highlights include: One, the continued steadiness in fuel gross margin per gallon which settled in for the year and for the fourth quarter at about $0.15 per gallon; two, healthy top line nonfuel growth of 7.5% for the fourth quarter and 8.4% for the full year; three, nonfuel gross margin percentages declined 80 and 90 basis points on the same site basis for the fourth quarter and the full year, however, this is largely due as reported in prior quarters to our decision to trade some margin percentage for volume and margin dollars. All told on a same-site basis, margin dollars increased about $45 million for the full year, outpacing growth in operating expenses in both dollars and on a percentage basis. And four, operations excluded from the same-site analysis largely sites acquired in 2011 contributed about $16.5 million of gross margin over operating expenses, the measure which I take is validation of our acquisition activities.

During 2011, we acquired 8 operating sites for about $37 million and invested $12 million during the year in improvements at those sites. I'm particularly encouraged by these results, because they represent only a partial year and not all of our planned improvements were completed in 2011. We ended the year with over $100 million in cash and an undrawn $200 million line of credit. 15 operating sites as of year-end that we owned outright and debt free may serve as an additional longer term source of liquidity. I believe these sources will enable us to continue to capitalize on acquisition and internal growth opportunities and to provide a cushion for the working capital risks of possible rising fuel costs.

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