- 3i Group said Thursday it would tweak its dividend policy after generating a total return of £1,425m or 24% on opening shareholders' funds and NAV per share of 724p, up 20% from 604p, for the year to end of March.

The upbeat performance was driven by strong returns in its private equity division, which generated a gross investment return of £1,438 million or 30%, driven by upbeat results from portfolio companies' Action, Scandlines, Atesteo and Basic-Fit.

The firm said it was a 'very good' year for its infrastructure division, which advised 3i Infrastructure, or 3iN, on six investments and commitments totalling £525m. While the disposals of Elenia and AWG, helped to generate a total return of 29% for 3iN.

'We enter FY2019 with a high-performing portfolio of investments in both of our divisions and a strong balance sheet, the firm said.

The group said it would adopt a simpler dividend policy, aiming to maintain or grow the dividend each year, from the 30.0p this year.

The firm would continue to pay an interim dividend, expected to be set at 50% of the prior year's total dividend (26.5p).

The firm raised its dividend to 22p from 18.5p, taking the total dividend to 30p for the year.

'Competition in both private equity and infrastructure remains intense, with high asset prices demanding a disciplined approach to investment. But I remain confident that the Group will be agile and opportunistic as we navigate what looks likely to be another year of significant economic and geo-political uncertainty,' Simon Thompson, Chairman said.

At 8:26am: [LON:III] 3i Group PLC share price was -23p at 951p

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