TravelCenters reports trucking activity up

TravelCenters of America’s first-quarter loss narrowed as the truckstop operator saw a jump in revenue as more U.S. truckers took to the roads, driving fuel sales, according to the company’s Q1 financial report.

The trucking industry is TravelCenter’s primary market and a slow but continual improvement in the U.S. economy underpinned an increase in trucking activity in the latest period, the company reports.

TravelCenters operates 237 fuel stations and roadside restaurant sites under its namesake, as well as the TA and Petro brands.

TravelCenters has seen its bottom line improve in recent quarters, driven by stronger fuel sales, but it hasn't stayed out of the red. The company reported a loss of $14.2 million, or 49 cents a share, compared with a year-ago loss of $16.6 million, or 92 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters recently predicted a per-share loss of 49 cents. Revenue rose 12% to $1.99 billion. Gross margin narrowed to 12.2% from 12.9%. Total fuel revenue was up 13%, as volume increased 2.4%. Nonfuel sales rose 8%. Same-site fuel volume was down 0.5%, as some diesel dispensers were out of service during a project to install diesel exhaust fluid dispensers.

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