- 3i Group delivered annual returns that beat its medium-term expectations following a 'strong' year of growth in its portfolio and the sale of a stake in XLT.

For the year ended 31 March 2019, the company generated a total return of £258m, or 15.4% on opening net asset value, exceeding the target of 8% to 10% per annum to be achieved over the medium term.

Returns were bolstered by realisations made during the year, including its stake investment in XLT, a company established to procure and lease out the rolling stock for use on the Thameslink passenger rail franchise.

The sale generated net proceeds to the company of £333m, in addition to income of £12m received in January prior to the sale, representing a 27% premium to our September 2018 valuation of £271 million and a 5.9x return on its original investment in 2013.

The company recommended a final dividend for the year of 4.325 pence per share, meeting its target for the year of 8.65 pence per share, 10% above last year's total dividend. 

Looking ahead, the company said it expected the pipeline for infrastructure deals to remain thin over the next year amid a competitive environment.

'It has been another strong year for the Company. The portfolio is performing well, we made another excellent realisation and we have continued to make attractive new investments in a very competitive market,' said Phil White, Managing Partner, Infrastructure, 3i Investments. At 8:43am: [LON:III] 3i Group PLC share price was +1.25p at 1058.75p

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