- 3i Group total return increased by 93% to £1,592 million in the year to the end of March.

Net asset value increased to 604 pence per share (31 March 2016: 463 pence) and the return on opening shareholders' funds was 36% (2016: 22%).

The group said: "A strong market for realisations meant that we were, as anticipated, net divestors during FY2017.

"We repaid our €331 million bond in March 2017 and ended the year with a net cash balance of £419 million and liquidity of £1,323 million (31 March 2016: net cash of £165 million and liquidity of £1,352 million)."

Chief executive Simon Borrows said: "FY2017 was another important year for 3i. Our Private Equity and Infrastructure businesses performed well and we simplified the Group by selling our Debt Management platform.

"Our efforts over the last few years in reshaping the portfolio mean we are now able to focus on active asset management and origination.

"We have made a good start to FY2018 with c.€500m of new investments signed and strong value growth potential in our current portfolio."

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