Preliminary results for the year to 31 March 2008

15 May 2008

Total return of 18.6% and 37% growth in assets under management

Highlights

  • Growth in assets under management of 37% to £9.8 billion (2007: £7.1 billion)
  • Total return of £792 million, an 18.6% return on opening shareholders funds (2007: £1,075 million, 26.8%).
  • Highly selective approach to investing: 47 new investments (2007: 62)
  • Total investment of £2,160 million (2007: £1,576 million); driven by an increase in average size of investment to £37 million (2007: £26 million).
  • As expected, a lower level of realisation proceeds compared to last years exceptional level of £1,742 million (2007: £2,438 million).
  2008 2007
Portfolio and assets under management    
Own balance sheet £6,016m £4,362m
Third-party funds £3,776m £2,772m
  £9,792m £7,134m
Investment activity*    
Investment £2,160m £1,576m
Realisation proceeds £1,742m £2,438m
*excluding third party    
     
Returns    
Realised profits on disposal of investments £523m £830m
Unrealised profit on revaluation £291m £323m
Portfolio income £227m £253m
Gross portfolio return on opening portfolio value 23.9% 34.0%
Total return £792m £1,075m
Total return on opening shareholders funds
 
18.6% 26.8%
Gearing 40% 0%
Final dividend 10.9p 10.3p
     
Net asset value per share (diluted) £10.77 £9.32

Baroness Hogg, Chairman of 3i Group plc, said: 

"In more challenging markets, 3i has continued to deliver a substantial increase in net asset value."

3i's Chief Executive, Philip Yea, said: 

"The last twelve months have seen a significant adverse change in the outlook for the world economy. The relatively benign environment of the last few years has allowed 3i to reshape itself by broadening our asset classes, increasing third-party funds under management and expanding geographically. As a consequence, we enter the new financial year realistic in outlook and confident in our strategy."

Convertible bond

We are also today announcing the launch of an offering for circa £425 million unsecured convertible bonds due 2011. 3i is issuing the bonds to refinance its existing €550m 1.375% convertible bonds which mature on 1 August 2008. 3i intends to use the net proceeds from the issue of the bonds primarily either to purchase the existing bonds in the market or to redeem the existing bonds at maturity to the extent they have not, by then, been converted or purchased and cancelled, and for general corporate purposes. The conversion price is expected to be set at a premium of between 25% and 30% above the volume weighted average price of 3i's ordinary shares during the placement. 3i will also enter into certain agreements with Dresdner Kleinwort and Lehman Brothers, who are acting as joint bookrunners of the offering, in order to offset 3i's exposure in relation to the bonds and to raise the effective conversion premium to approximately 60%.

For further information, please contact:

3i Group plc
Philip Yea, Chief Executive -  020 7975 3386
Patrick Dunne, Group Communications Director -  020 7975 3283

The Maitland Consultancy
Lydia Pretzlik -  020 7379 5151

For further information regarding the announcement of 3i's annual results to 31 March 2008, including a video interview with Philip Yea (available 7.15am) and a live webcast of the results presentation (at 10.00am, available on demand from 2.00pm), please see http://www.3igroup.com/.

Notes to editors
3i is a world leader in private equity. We focus on buyouts, growth capital, infrastructure and quoted private equity; investing across Europe, Asia and the US. Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our relationships in business. These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio and to our shareholders.