3i Group profit falls 15%

3i Group PLC (III.LN) on Thursday reported a 15% fall in pretax operating profit in fiscal 2019, a year the company said was characterized by uncertainties that weighed on business.

The international investment manager, which focuses on midmarket equity and infrastructure, said its profit for the year ended March 31 fell to 1.23 billion pounds ($1.58 billion), from GBP1.45 billion in the previous financial year.

3i Group’s total return was GBP1.25 billion, or 18%, on opening shareholder funds. The company’s net asset value at March 31 stood at 815 pence a share, up from 724 pence a share a year earlier.

The company said its gross investment return during the year was GBP1.41 billion, down from GBP1.55 billion.

3i Group recommended a final dividend for the year of 20 pence a share, down from 22 pence a share in fiscal 2018. However, combined with the interim dividend, the full-year dividend for fiscal 2019 is 35 pence a share, up 17% on fiscal 2018.

The company said the new financial year has started in a similar way to fiscal 2019, with geo-political uncertainty and economic concerns at play. 3i Group said it will be careful about the pricing of new investments.

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