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TRAVEL PORTS EARNINGS UP IN SECOND QUARTER OCTOBER CRACKDOWN ON TAX CHEATS CITED

 ROCHESTER, N.Y., Nov. 24 ~PRNewswire~ -- Travel Ports of America, Inc. (NASDAQ: TPOA) reported a profit of $252,105, or five cents a share, for its second quarter ended Oct. 31, 1992. In the same quarter last year, the company earned $81,472 or two cents per share.
 Sales for the quarter were $35,161,794, a decrease of $627,520 or 1.8 percent, from last year's second quarter.
 Year-to-date, Travel Ports reported six-month earnings of $352,112, or seven cents per share, compared with a profit of $248,032 or five cents a share, for last year. Sales for the first six months were $67,834,803, down 2.5 percent from the previous year's sales of $69,614,200.
 Travel Ports President, John Holahan said that a key reason for the declines in sales was competition from illegal operators who do not pay state or federal taxes on diesel fuel. He said his company saw a surge in volume at some of its truckstops in the last two weeks of October after a task force of federal and state agents shut down an estimated 30 to 40 truckstops in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio that were suspected of cheating on diesel fuel taxes.
 "We have been urging federal and state authorities to take action on these tax cheats for several years now," Holahan said. "These operators employ various methods to avoid paying diesel fuel taxes. They use part of the savings to lower prices at the pump to levels below our cost of buying diesel fuel. Then they pocket the rest. We estimate that the tax cheats have cost us about 25 percent of our diesel sales at our locations in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey."
 The tax cheats' advantages are significant, Holahan said, because the combined federal and state diesel fuel taxes range from 38 cents per gallon in New Jersey to 51 cents per gallon in New York.
 "Our volume continues to improve since the raids," Holahan said. "Assuming that the authorities keep the pressure on these illegal operators, we expect to see important gains for our business during the rest of this fiscal year."
 Travel Ports, headquartered in Rochester, operates 16 truck and motor plazas in six states, from New York to South Carolina and west to Indiana.
 SUMMARY OF RESULTS (UNAUDITED)
 Three months ended October 31
 1992 1991
 Revenue $35,161,794 $35,789,314
 Net income $ 252,105 $ 81,472
 Per share $ .05 $ .02
 Average number of common and
 common equivalent shares 5,184,038 5,184,038
 Six months ended October 31
 1992 1991
 Revenue $67,834,803 $69,614,200
 Net income $ 352,112 $ 248,032
 Per share $ .07 $ .05
 Average number of common and
 common equivalent shares 5,184,038 5,184,038
 -0- 11~24~92
 ~CONTACT: John M. Holahan or William Burslem III, both of Travel Ports of America, Inc., 716-272-1810~
 (TPOA)


CO: Travel Ports of America, Inc. ST: New York IN: TRN SU: ERN

BM -- CL006 -- 0937 11~24~92 09:47 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 24, 1992
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