Fitch Ratings elevated their rating for Port Tampa Bay to an ‘A+’ for the port’s approximately $75 million in outstanding revenue bonds and notes. Additionally, the Rating Outlook is stable. The upgrade reflects Port Tampa Bay’s continued capital investments that have supported strong throughput and revenue performance and are expected to drive additional growth in the near term. The rating will result in better insurance and bond rates for Port Tampa Bay.
The rating reflects the port’s diversified operating revenues supported by contractual agreements that bolster revenue stability, coupled with a strong fiscal position evidenced by stable liquidity and low leverage. The port’s diversified operations and modest exposure to cruise help to insulate financial performance from fluctuations from any one business line. The rating also reflects near-term capex primarily funded by grants and port revenues, reducing reliance on debt while recognizing the adequate headroom for future borrowing provided by the port’s financial profile.
“Port Tampa Bay’s diversity remains its greatest asset and strength. Our maritime community was recognized for our strong position for success and stability. Year after year, the port has worked hard to improve its annual rating from Fitch and we celebrate our upgraded rating from ‘A’ to ‘A+’. This is welcomed news and we congratulate our staff and port community who helped us ensure fiscal responsibility. Port Tampa Bay is Florida’s largest port, and an economic driver, supporting nearly 85,000 jobs and generating over $18 billion in annual economic impact,” explained Paul Anderson, Port Tampa Bay President & CEO.
“On behalf of the entire Port Tampa Bay Board, it is an honor to be recognized by Fitch Ratings for the port’s financial responsibility and growth. Our maritime community is comprised of focus-driven individuals, who not only want to see our port succeed, but our entire region. We take our role in being a job creator and economic driver seriously and it should be very reassuring to the public, to have the backing of a one of the biggest credit rating industries in the U.S.,” explained Chad Harrod, Port Tampa Bay Board of Commissioners Chair.
“Port Tampa Bay is on a continued upward trajectory, as demonstrated with our latest Fitch Rating. We realized we had an incredible opportunity to challenge ourselves and improve by focusing on how we could deliver impact on critical strategies, identify profitable growth initiatives, and ultimately improve our Fitch rating as a collective achievement,” explained David Delac, Port Tampa Bay Chief Financial Officer
Fitch Ratings evaluates the port as Hillsborough County Port District each year. To learn more about Fitch Ratings, visit Fitch’s Ratings Action Commentary for Port Tampa Bay.