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3i Group plc

Annual report and accounts 2023 highlights

Our purpose

We generate attractive returns for our shareholders and co-investors by investing in private equity and infrastructure assets.

As proprietary capital investors we have a long-term, responsible approach.

We aim to compound value through thoughtful origination, disciplined investment and active management of our assets, driving sustainable growth in our investee companies.

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Driving sustainable growth in our portfolio companies

We delivered a very strong return in FY2023, as we continue to benefit from our clear strategy, consistent execution and investment discipline.

While we are not immune from the impacts of the current macroeconomic uncertainty, the Group’s financial strength and quality portfolio put us in a good position to continue to deliver attractive returns through the economic cycle.

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David Hutchinson Chairman Sustainable Growth

David Hutchison


Performance highlights

  • 1,745 p

    NAV per share

    (31 March 2022: 1,321p)

  • 36 %

    Total return on equity

    (2022: 44%)

  • 53.0 p

    Dividend per share


3i continues to deliver very strong performance

Our portfolio has been carefully assembled and its resilience and consistent financial performance in recent years reflect the benefits of thematic investing, disciplined pricing and active asset management.

We have started FY2024 with good momentum and are confident that we have the right people, portfolio and processes to continue to compound value from our portfolio and deliver consistent returns through the cycle.

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Simon Borrows - Chief Executive

Simon Borrows

Chief Executive

At a glance

3i is an investment company specialising in Private Equity and Infrastructure. We invest in mid-market companies headquartered in northern Europe and North America.

  • 3i Group investment portfolio value as at 31 March 2023

    £ 18,388 m

    (2022: £14,305m)

  • Total assets under management

    £ 29.9 bn

    (2022: £22.9bn)

Private Equity






Private Equity






Private Equity


With 89% of our investment portfolio invested in Private Equity, this business is the principal driver of our returns.

Private Equity Illustration

What we do

Our Private Equity business is funded principally from our proprietary capital, with some funding from co-investors for selected assets. Its principal focus is to generate attractive capital returns.

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of the Group’s cash income was generated by our Infrastructure business in FY2023.

Infrastructure Illustration

What we do

Our Infrastructure business manages assets on behalf of third-party investors and 3i’s proprietary capital, with the objective of generating attractive capital returns and earning fund management fees and portfolio income for the Group.


Our Private Equity business invests in companies with an enterprise value of typically €100 million to €500 million at acquisition in our core investment markets of northern Europe and North America. Our teams invest in the following sectors:

  • Business Tech Services Business & Technology Services
  • Consumer Consumer
  • Healthcare Healthcare
  • Industrial Technology Industrial Technology

Our Infrastructure business invests across a broad range of economic infrastructure businesses and operational projects in Europe and North America, in sectors adjacent to:

  • Communications Communications
  • Healthcare Healthcare
  • Natural Resources Natural resources/Energy
  • Social Infrastructure Social Infrastructure
  • Transport Logistics Transport/Logistics
  • Utilities Utilities

Our business model

We aim to compound value by investing in mid-market companies to create a diverse portfolio with strong growth potential.

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Key enablers of value

Permanent capital

We aim to compound our proprietary capital value through conviction in our best investments and by deploying our capital in new mid-market companies. Our proprietary capital affords us a long-term investment horizon.

A long-standing office network

We have had teams on the ground across the UK, continental Europe and the US for many decades, which have built strong networks within their local business communities.

An expert and diverse team

Our international teams are formed of local people with great knowledge and experience of their geography and sector.

We view diversity as a strength and a plurality of perspectives enhances our origination, value creation anddecision making.

Careful portfolio construction

We approach portfolio construction with great care, originating opportunities thematically and investing selectively in businesses that benefit from long-term structural growth trends.

Active asset management

We engage with portfolio companies’ management teams to manage risks and invest in initiatives that support long-term sustainable growth.

Strong values and institutional culture

We promote a strong culture of integrity among our employees and embed that culture in our policies and processes.

A strong brand and reputation

As an investment company with a history of over 75 years, our brand strength and long-term approach underpin our reputation as a responsible investor and business.

We manage our balance sheet conservatively. We maintain a tight grip on operating costs and cover these with fund management fees and portfolio income.

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Business Model Svg

Strategic objectives

  • Bar Grow
    Grow investment portfolio earnings
  • Pound Rotate (1)
    Realise investments with good cash‑to‑cash returns
  • Round Dot
    Maintain an operating cash profit
  • File Check
    Use our strong balance sheet
  • Percent Sign
    Increase shareholder distributions

Key performance indicators

Gross investment return (“GIR”) as % of opening portfolio value

The performance of the proprietary investment portfolio expressed as a percentage of the opening portfolio value.

Link to strategic objectives

NAV per share

The measure of the fair value per share of our investments and other assets after the net cost of operating the business and dividends paid in the year.

Link to strategic objectives

Cash realisations

Support our returns to shareholders, as well as our ability to invest in new opportunities

Link to strategic objectives

Cash investment

Identifying and investing in new and further investments is a key driver of the Group’s ability to deliver attractive returns.

Link to strategic objectives

Operating cash profit

By covering the cash operating cost of running our business with cash income, we reduce the potential dilution of capital returns.

Link to strategic objectives

Total shareholder return

The return to our shareholders through the movement in the share price and dividends paid during the year.

Link to strategic objectives

We invest in mid-market businesses headquartered in northern Europe and North America with potential for international growth. Once invested, we work closely with our portfolio companies to deliver ambitious growth plans, realising our investments to generate strong cash-to-cash returns for 3i shareholders and other investors.

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At a glance

  • Gross investment return

    £ 4,966m
    or 40%

    (2022: £4,172m or 47%)

  • Cash investment

    £ 381 m

    (2022: £457m)

  • Realised proceeds

    £ 857 m

    (2022: £684m)

  • Portfolio growing earnings


    (2022: 93%)

    1 LTM adjusted earnings to 31 December 2022.; Includes 31 portfolio companies.
  • Portfolio dividend income

    £ 345 m

    (2022: £331m)

  • Portfolio value

    £ 16,425 m

    (2022: £12,420m)

We manage a range of funds investing principally in mid-market economic infrastructure and operational projects in Europe and North America. Infrastructure is a defensive asset class that provides a good source of income and fund management fees for the Group, enhancing returns on our proprietary capital. The team has been active in its deployment of capital across the portfolio and in new investments.

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At a glance

  • Gross investment return

    £ 86m
    or 6%

    (2022: £241m or 21%)

  • AUM

    £ 6.4 bn

    (2022: £5.7bn)

  • Cash income

    £ 107 m

    (2022: £91m)

Scandlines is held for its ability to deliver long-term capital returns whilst generating cash dividends.

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At a glance

  • Gross investment return

    £ 52m
    or 10%

    (2022: £112m or 26%)