WESTLAKE, Ohio — TravelCenters of America Inc. (TA) delivered a 67% increase over the prior year period, according to its third-quarter 2022 financial results. The company saw a 24.9% increase in fuel gross margin versus the prior year, and the nonfuel gross margin also increased by 11.4% versus the prior year quarter, as strength in truck service and improved pricing benefited results.
- TravelCenters of America is No. 28 on CSP’s 2022 Top 202 ranking of U.S. convenience-store chains by company-owned store count.
“Our ongoing investment in growth initiatives is designed to drive performance in 2023 and beyond, with a focus on site refreshes, technology initiatives and network expansion,” said Jonathan Pertchik, CEO of TravelCenters of America.
During third-quarter 2022, TA completed the acquisitions of three travel centers, one truck service facility and certain assets of a travel center that TA owns but previously leased and franchised for a total of $55.2 million inclusive of certain closing costs and other purchase price adjustment. During the first nine months of 2022, TA completed the acquisitions of certain assets of five travel centers and two truck service facilities to strengthen the geographic coverage of its network, according to the company.
TA’s growth strategy also includes adding franchised travel centers to its network. Since the beginning of 2020, TA has entered into franchise agreements covering approximately 56 travel centers to be operated under its travel center brand names. Five of these franchised travel centers began operations during 2020, two began operations during 2021 and one began operations during second-quarter 2022. TA expects the remaining 48 to all open by fourth-quarter 2024.
TA plans to expand restaurant and food offerings as well as improve technology systems. The company’s capital expenditures for 2022 that includes these projects are expected to be in the range of $175 million to $200 million. Approximately 55% of TA’s expected capital expenditures in 2022 are focused on growth initiatives that TA expects will meet or exceed TA’s 15% to 20% cash on cash return hurdle.
When it comes to environmental initiatives, the company has a focus on its eTA division, , which seeks to deliver sustainable and alternative energy to the marketplace by working with the public sector, private companies, customers and guests to facilitate this initiative.
Recent accomplishments include expanding TA’s biodiesel blending capabilities, increasing the availability of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) at all diesel pumps nationwide and installing electric vehicle charging stations. TA is also exploring ultra-high power truck charging and hydrogen fuel dispensing in parallel with traditional fossil fuels to provide energy alternatives as the transportation sector transitions to a lighter carbon footprint. TA claims its large, well-located sites will allow it to make both fossil and, eventually, non-fossil fuels available throughout its nationwide network of sites.
Westlake, Ohio-based TravelCenters of America, a publicly traded, full-service travel center network, has 280 locations in 44 states and Canada, principally under the TA, Petro Stopping Centers and TA Express brands. Offerings include diesel and gasoline fuel, truck maintenance and repair, full-service and quick-service restaurants (QSR), travel stores, car and truck parking and other services. The company operates more than 600 full-service and quick-service restaurants and nine proprietary brands, including Iron Skillet and Country Pride.
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