North of England Club has reported a 2.6% (5m gt) rise in total entered tonnage to 195m gt and a 4.6% ($20m) increase in free reserves to $451m for the financial year ending February 20th 2018. Overall entered tonnage now comprises 142m gt of owned tonnage and 53m gt of chartered tonnage. North said that it had achieved a 99% Member retention rate at the February 20th renewals.
The majority of tonnage growth came from existing Members, but there were also significant new entries from Danish and German owners, as well as from owners and charterers in Singapore, Japan, Greece and Qatar, the Club said. North reported that it had also seen an increase in tonnage of approximately 8m gt in the 2017/18 year FD&D class, increasing the Club’s total FD&D entry for owned and chartered Members to above 140m gt.
The investment return for 2017/18 was 2.87%, generating $28.6m. The Club said that its underwriting result was impacted by the rise in the cost of its contributions to other International Group Clubs’ Pool claims, as well as the increasing operational and regulatory cost pressures from Solvency II and Brexit. It said that, in the circumstances, “overall the financial year combined ratio of 104% is a satisfactory result given the prevailing market conditions and the continuing need to support Members during this economically uncertain and challenging period for global shipping”.
The Directors reviewed the Release Calls for the P&I and FD&D Classes, which they decided would be:
North’s said that the results reflected its “consistently robust approach to underwriting and risk management” and that they should see the long-term combined ratio of the Club remain in the upper quartile of the International Group.
North P&I Club chairman Pratap Shirke said that “in these uncertain trading conditions for global shipping, it is more important than ever that our Members can confidently rely on our support. This was clearly demonstrated in our renewal strategy announcement in November 2017, when, for the second consecutive year, we decided to charge no general increase. Shipping’s longstanding economic challenges have shown some signs of improvement along with freight rates in certain sectors, but we are yet to see any permanent or long-term improvement.”