El Paso, TX-based truckstop chain Petro Stopping Centers said it reaped record operating profits in the second quarter this year. But it lost money for the first half of 2004 due to refinancing certain transactions back in the first quarter and paying subsequently higher interest.

Petro said revenue for the second quarter rose $63.8 million to a total of $315.8 million compared to the same period in 2003 -- mainly due to higher fuel revenues, as a result of increased fuel gallons sold, and an increase in its average retail-selling price of fuel. Net income increased $968,000 to $3.7 million due primarily to increased fuel gross profit and improved non-fuel sales, partially offset by increased interest expense, the company said.

Revenue for the first half of 2004 rose 15.1% to $601.9 million, but the company lost $3.9 million. Petro operates 37 company-owned truckstops, with another 23 franchised to independent operators.