Port retains credit rating

Published 10:37 pm Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Standard & Poor’s has affirmed The Virginia Port Authority’s A+ long-term rating on port facilities revenue bonds.

“The ‘A+’ rating reflects our opinion of the authority’s historically good financial performance despite recent fluctuating container volumes due to the recession,” an S&P summary of the VPA’s performance says.

The rating further reflects S&P’s favorable view of the port’s ability to service debt, good competitive position due to its natural deep channels and central East Coast location, improved rail connectivity to the Midwest and good labor relations, according to a VPA news release.

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The S&P summary notes that cargo volumes are showing signs of recovery after a 12.4-percent fall in fiscal 2009.

“Although not quite at pre-recession volumes, we expect that the port’s operations will continue to recover, benefiting also from the Heartland Corridor rail that was completed in mid-2010 and connects VPA with large Midwestern markets,” it says.

VPA interim Executive Director Rodney W. Oliver said, “This is very good news for us and it affirms our work of the last few years to plan better, build volume and reduce spending while maintaining a very high level of service.”