3i sees robust results but stays wary of Europe

Gabriella Griffith
PRIVATE equity firm 3i delivered strong first-half results yesterday, but issued a warning about the increasing political uncertainty in Europe.

The firm, which owns clothing brands Hobbs and Agent Provocateur, reported good earnings from its portfolio and that market conditions had been favourable for realisations, earning £324m from disposals in the six months to September. The value of its portfolio rose by £107m in the first half, bringing it up to £3.67bn.

Total returns rose from £175m a year ago to £234m, despite a £73m foreign exchange loss. However, while current investments are performing well, chief executive Simon Borrows cautioned that 3i would be wary of new investments in Europe.

“We recognise the increasing political uncertainty and stagnating growth in Europe and are mindful of the risks of over-paying for new investments in this environment,” he said.

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