Galveston, TX (Aug. 17, 2021) – Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Global Ratings has upgraded the Galveston Wharves financial outlook and affirmed an issuer credit rating of A- in a report issued Aug.13.
According to the report, the revised outlook reflects the port’s actions to mitigate the financial impact of the pandemic with increased cargo and lay revenues and strong management and governance. The stable outlook also reflects the port’s plans to refinance bond debt to reduce interest costs, as well as the expectation that port management will continue to manage its budget and maintain credit quality.
The Galveston Wharves Board of Trustees voted on Aug. 11 to ask Galveston City Council to re-fund the port’s bonds at an expected lower rate. Refinancing the bonds also will release $2.5 million from a debt service reserve four years earlier, which allows the port to fund capital improvements. As a self-sustaining city entity, the port generates and reinvests revenue from operations and grants to create economic growth, jobs and other benefits for the Galveston region.
Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves port director and CEO, said, “This report reflects the ongoing diligence and hard work of the Wharves Board and staff to manage expenses and maintain positive cash flow, despite the loss of $44 million in cruise revenues due to COVID.”
S&P Global Ratings is the leading index provider and data source of independent ratings. An S&P rating describes the general creditworthiness of a company, city or country that issues debt.
About Galveston Wharves at the Port of Galveston
Located at the entrance to Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Channel, Galveston Wharves has been a thriving maritime commercial center since 1825. Just 45 minutes from open seas, the 840-acre port has infrastructure and assets to serve growing cruise, cargo and commercial businesses. As the fourth most popular U.S. cruise port, it welcomed more than 1 million cruise passengers in 2019. Also one of the busiest in Texas, the port moved 4.3 million tons of cargo in 2020 and has an estimated annual state economic impact of $2.1 billion.