North of England Reaffirms A Rating

Wednesday, February 21, 2007
North of England P&I club has had its A / stable rating reaffirmed by Standard and Poor’s and gained further tonnage at the annual renewal to reach a total of approximately 70 million GT. Leading ratings agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) confirmed last week that North of England had retained its ‘A’ financial strength and counterparty credit rating with a stable outlook for the third year running.

According to S&P primary credit analyst Marcus Rivaldi, ‘North of England’s operating performance is considered strong when compared with that of most peers and the International Group of P&I Clubs as a whole. Adjusted free reserves have shown a 13.9% compound annual growth rate over 1998–2006, placing it at the top of its peer group and representing an out-performance of the Group as a whole.’ ,p>S&P also commented that the club continued, ‘to offer a high level of member support while exhibiting one of the lowest expense ratios among peers, assisted by its relatively low-cost geographic location.’ Owned tonnage entered in North of England showed a net increase of 1 million GT at the annual renewal yesterday (20 February 2007), bringing the total to 56 million GT – a 14 % increase from 20 February 2006. Together with chartered tonnage, the total entry is now approximately 70 million GT. Many existing members placed additional ships with the club at renewal. Fifteen new members – including owners from a diverse range of existing geographical markets – commenced an entry at 20 February. Renewal terms were not offered or agreed with a few members. ‘We firmly believe renewal is a 12-month process,’ says deputy managing director Paul Jennings. ‘As in previous years, most of our year-on-year development was achieved from existing members prior to 20 February. The renewal nevertheless offers us a useful opportunity to further consolidate and refine our membership quality. We particularly welcome the new members who have just joined us – many of whom have strong fleet-development plans and have already committed additional ships to North of England.’

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