NorthStandard confirms S&P ‘A’ rating after strong first set of post-merger results

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P&I club NorthStandard has followed up strong renewal results after the first year of operating as a merged entity by announcing an A rating award from S&P Global Ratings.

S&P said the A rating, alongside a stable outlook, reflected its expectation for NorthStandard to maintain capital adequacy in line with its 99.99% confidence level and that “its underwriting results will be close to or better than breakeven over the next 12-24 months”.

The rating had been based on an assessment of NorthStandard’s “strong competitive position, supported by its sound operating performance relative to peers”, the ratings organisation said.

North Standard reported a rise in premium income in its 2024-25 renewal announcement, after positive market responses to its post-merger scale and global operating structure, as well as continuing service excellence.

Premium revenues exceeded $825 million for the insurance year ending 20 February, against a combined $796 million at the point of merger between the North and Standard P&I clubs 12 months earlier. Mutual poolable tonnage increased to 256M GT as of 20 February 2024.

S&P added that its ratings also reflect NorthStandard’s very strong capital and earnings, and its accumulation of free reserves. The stable outlook indicates that S&PGR expects NorthStandard to record combined ratios close to, or below 100% over the next 12-24 months.

“NorthStandard’s capital strength and its return to profitable underwriting has been instrumental in this affirmation from S&P,” commented Nick Jelley (pictured), Chief Financial Officer, NorthStandard.

Announcing its renewal results last week, NorthStandard said it expects to report an underwriting surplus and a sub-100% combined ratio, with a positive investment return adding to the club’s free reserves.

“The award of S&P’s A rating is further vindication of the financial strength of the merged group, at a time when entered tonnage and revenues from new and existing members are also growing,” added Jelley. “This is the platform from which NorthStandard is delivering the strategies on digitalisation, sustainability, portfolio diversification and recruitment that consolidate its leading role in P&I.”

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