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3i European Enterprise Barometer shows continued optimism

The latest quarterly 3i European Enterprise Barometer Index, measuring private companies' confidence in business, political and economic climates remains in positive territory despite showing a slight fall from the high of Q2 2004.

The index for Europe is now at +23, down from +30 where it was last quarter. However, 3i backed companies are slightly more optimistic about their own prospects, despite the fall in the index.

Phil Yea, 3i CEO commented: "The results from this quarter''s Barometer index is in line with the overall performance of the 3i portfolio. That there should be a fall from last quarter is no surprise. The regional variations in the survey are interesting and that our portfolio CEOs remain confident abut their own prospects for turnover, profitability and investment is encouraging".

In the UK the Index this quarter also shows significant regional variations. All regions have slipped in optimism with the South remaining the most positive, followed by the North and then the Midlands. The balance for non-manufacturers remains higher than that for manufacturers, as it has been in every survey bar one in 1996.

The 3i Barometer is a good lead indicator for GDP growth across Europe.  This seems to be a trend that is continuing.

Download The Barometer in PDF format  from our publications page.

Notes to editors

3i Barometer

The 3i UK Enterprise Barometer is compiled every quarter from the responses of a sample of companies in the UK in which 3i has an investment. This survey was carried out in September/October 2004. The sample size was 380.  The initial base of +100 was established in January 1988.  The Index reached its highest level of +142 in the first quarter of 1994 and its lowest level of -170 in the first quarter of 1991. 

The 3i European Barometer was started in June 1998 and is compiled every quarter from the responses of a sample of companies in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Nordic Region in which 3i has an investment. The index uses the same base as the UK Barometer and it is weighted by size of country (as measured by GDP).

About 3i

About 3i plc

3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital. We focus on Buyouts, Growth Capital and Venture Capital and invest across Europe, in theUnited States and in Asia Pacific.  Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our relationships in business. These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio and to our shareholders.

In the 6 months to 30 September 2004, 3i invested £521 million, including co-investment funds. 3i''s buyout business concentrates on the mid and smaller buyout markets in Europe and Asia Pacific and invested £305m in the 6 months to 30 September 2004.  Our growth capital business invested £142 million in the 6 months to 30 September 2004 in high growth companies expanding organically or through acquisition. 3i''s venture capital business invested £74m in the 6 months to 30 September 2004 in early stage technology companies.

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