RNS Number : 7699Z

3i Group PLC

27 January 2022

27 January 2022

3i Group plc

FY2022 Q3 performance update

 Continued good performance across the Group 
   *    Increase in NAV per share to 1,235 pence (30 
        September 2021:1,153 pence) despite the negative 
        translation effect of sterling strengthening in the 
        quarter (21 pence) 
   *    Total return of 32.6% for the nine months to 31 
        December 2021, with continued good performance across 
        both investment portfolios 
   *    Strong sales, EBITDA and cash generation from Action 
        notwithstanding significant Covid-19 and supply chain 
   *    Private Equity business completed GBP310 million of 
        investment in the quarter including new investments 
        in Dutch Bakery and Mepal, a co-investment in 
        insightsoftware and two transformational bolt-on 
        acquisitions for GartenHaus and ten23 health. In 
        addition, five bolt-on acquisitions were completed 
        across the portfolio, with no additional funding from 
        3i and a further two bolt-on acquisitions were signed 
   *    Strong cash generation from the Private Equity 
        portfolio with combined realised proceeds of GBP491 
        million from the divestment of Magnitude Software and 
        partial divestment of Basic-Fit 

Simon Borrows, Chief Executive, commented:

" We saw continued, resilient performance from both our investment portfolios as well as a good level of cash realisations. There was also further bolt-on activity and several new investments in the quarter. Action continues to perform very well and delivered impressive results given the Covid-19 related challenges in 2021. 3i is well set for a strong close to our financial year end in March."

Private Equity

Portfolio performance and valuation at 31 December 2021

In the 12 months to 2 January 2022, Action generated net sales growth of 23% (52 week comparison) and added 267 stores, taking its total to 1,983 stores across nine countries. Provisional 2021 EBITDA, which is still subject to audit, was EUR828 million, 36% ahead of 2020 (52 week comparison). Net sales (EUR6,834 million) and EBITDA were 34% and 53% ahead of 2019. Covid-19 restrictions and store closures affected the group in six out of twelve months in 2021 with Action experiencing significant closures and restrictions in the Netherlands, Austria and Germany in the first quarter of 2021 and in December 2021. Action paid an interim dividend of EUR325 million in December 2021, and finished the year with a cash balance of EUR759 million. Action opened its 2,000th store in Prague last week and all stores are currently open with trading well ahead of the same period last year.

The broader Private Equity portfolio traded resiliently notwithstanding ongoing Covid-19 related restrictions, supply chain challenges and increasing cost inflation. In the quarter we saw good performance from SaniSure, which is capitalising on a robust bioprocessing market, WilsonHCG which delivered good performance driven by continued strength of the US labour market and BoConcept, which continues to see strong demand despite restrictions remaining in some of its key markets. Other notable contributions to our return include WP and AES. We continue to carefully manage and support our travel companies and following very recent Omicron developments we are becoming more optimistic about their prospects in 2022.

Private Equity investments

 Private Equity                                                                                             Investment 
 investment         Type                 Business description                              Date                   GBPm 
-----------------  -------------------  ------------------------------------------------  ---------------  ----------- 
 ten23 health       Further              Pharmaceutical product CDMO                       October 2021             61 
                                         Digital platform for garden and house projects 
 GartenHaus         Further               across Europe                                    October 2021             45 
                                         Industrial bakery group specialised in home 
 Dutch Bakery       New                   bake-off bread and snack products                October 2021             46 
 Audley Travel      Further              Provider of experiential tailor-made travel       October 2021             25 
                                         Provider of financial reporting and enterprise 
                    New                   performance management software for the Office 
 insightsoftware     co-investment        of the CFO                                       November 2021            37 
 Christ             Further              German retailer of jewellery and watches          November 2021            12 
                                         Dutch lifestyle consumer brand known for 
 Mepal              New                   storing and serving food and drinks              December 2021            87 
-----------------  -------------------  ------------------------------------------------  ---------------  ----------- 
 Total Q3 FY2022 new and further investment                                                                        313 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  ---------------  ----------- 
                                         Provider of digital solutions in the DACH 
 MAIT               Return of funding     region                                           October 2021            (3) 
-----------------  -------------------  ------------------------------------------------  ---------------  ----------- 
 Total Q3 FY2022 return of funding                                                                                 (3) 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  ---------------  ----------- 
 Total Q3 FY2022 investment                                                                                        310 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  ---------------  ----------- 
 H1 FY2022 investment                                                                                               58 
--------------------------------------   ----------------------------------------------------------------  ----------- 
 Total investment as at 31 December 2021                                                                           368 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  ---------------  ----------- 

In the period, we completed new investments in Mepal (GBP87 million) and Dutch Bakery (GBP46 million). We also completed transformational bolt-on acquisitions for ten23 health, investing GBP61 million of our proprietary capital to support growth initiatives including the scale up and expansion of the Basel formulation and drug development operations, as well as and the acquisition of Swissfillon, a drug product fill and finish CDMO, and GBP45 million in GartenHaus to support the acquisition of Outdoor Toys, a UK-based online retailer of outdoor garden toys. After the period end, we invested in Yanga Sports Water to support its international growth and expansion into North America.

Several of our portfolio companies completed bolt-on acquisitions in the quarter funded by the portfolio company's balance sheet. Evernex completed its acquisition of Emcon-IT, a US leading player in the third-party hardware maintenance industry, and Dutch Bakery acquired GoodLife Foods Deurne in an asset transaction, representing a strategic acquisition for Dutch Bakery in the Benelux market. AES acquired JAtech Services, a Canada-based asset condition monitoring specialist, Hans Anders acquired the Belgian franchisee for eyes+more and SaniSure acquired GL Engineering, a manufacturer of single-use filling needles for use in the fill & finish stage of production . Also in the quarter, Royal Sanders agreed to acquire Otto Cosmetics, a leading German manufacturer of private label and contract manufacturing products for the personal care industry and MAIT agreed to acquire Infolutions, a Swiss-based managed services provider with a focus on infrastructure monitoring.

In the period, we completed a GBP37 million co-investment in insightsoftware, the company that acquired Magnitude Software, invested a further GBP25 million in Audley Travel to support its recovery from the pandemic, and GBP12 million in Christ as part of its debt refinancing and extension of facilities.

Private Equity realisations

 Private Equity                                    Realisation proceeds 
 Realisations                                                      GBPm 
------------------------------------------------  --------------------- 
 Magnitude Software                                                 345 
 Basic-Fit                                                          146 
 Total Q3 FY2022 realised proceeds                                  491 
 H1 FY2022 realised proceeds                                        118 
------------------------------------------------  --------------------- 
 Total realised proceeds as at 31 December 2021                     609 
------------------------------------------------  --------------------- 

In the period, we recognised total realised proceeds of GBP491 million. We received GBP345 million from the full divestment of Magnitude Software, achieving a sterling money multiple of 2.5x and an IRR of 44%. We also received GBP146 million from a partial sale of Basic-Fit shares. We retain a 5.7% holding in the business valued at GBP133 million at 31 December 2021.


3iN's underlying portfolio continues to perform well, generating a good level of portfolio income, and 3iN's share price performed strongly in the quarter, closing up 16% at 354 pence at 31 December 2021 (30 September 2021: 304 pence), valuing 3i's 30% stake at GBP953 million (30 September 2021: GBP817 million). We also recognised GBP14 million of dividend income from 3iN in the period.

In the period, our US infrastructure team completed a GBP146 million investment in EC Waste, the largest vertically integrated provider of federally compliant solid waste services in Puerto Rico, representing the third platform investment for our US infrastructure portfolio and, including portfolio company bolt-ons, our seventh US infrastructure investment.


Scandlines performed well in the period, with strong freight volumes ahead of 2019 levels. Leisure has also continued to recover however volumes were impacted by the emergence of the Omicron variant and so remained below 2019 levels in the period. As a result of good cash management throughout the pandemic, Scandlines was able to resume its cash distributions in December 2021, and 3i recognised GBP13 million of dividend income in the quarter.

Top 10 investments by value at 31 December 2021

                                             Valuation   Valuation 
                   Valuation    Valuation       Sep-21      Dec-21 
                   basis        currency          GBPm        GBPm   Activity in the quarter 
----------------  -----------  -----------  ----------  ----------  -------------------------------------------------- 
 Action            Earnings     EUR              6,100       6,542   Received a cash dividend of GBP144 million in 
                                                                     December 2021 
                  -----------  -----------  ----------  ----------  -------------------------------------------------- 
 3iN               Quoted       GBP                817         953   Recognised a dividend of GBP14 million in 
                                                                     November 2021 
                  -----------  -----------  ----------  ----------  -------------------------------------------------- 
 Cirtec Medical    Earnings     USD                488         489 
                  -----------  -----------  ----------  ----------  -------------------------------------------------- 
 Scandlines        DCF          EUR                469         471   Received a cash dividend of GBP13 million in 
                                                                     December 2021 
                  -----------  -----------  ----------  ----------  -------------------------------------------------- 
 Luqom             Earnings     EUR                453         440 
                  -----------  -----------  ----------  ----------  -------------------------------------------------- 
 Tato              Earnings     GBP                412         406   Received a cash dividend of GBP4 million in 
                                                                     October 2021 
                  -----------  -----------  ----------  ----------  -------------------------------------------------- 
 Hans Anders       Earnings     EUR                323         316 
                  -----------  -----------  ----------  ----------  -------------------------------------------------- 
 Royal Sanders     Earnings     EUR                295         289 
                  -----------  -----------  ----------  ----------  -------------------------------------------------- 
 Evernex           Earnings     EUR                283         287 
                  -----------  -----------  ----------  ----------  -------------------------------------------------- 
 WP                Earnings     EUR                265         281 
                  -----------  -----------  ----------  ----------  -------------------------------------------------- 

The 10 investments in the table above comprise 78% (30 September 2021: 78%) of the total Proprietary Capital portfolio value of GBP13,413 million (30 September 2021: GBP12,784 million).

Total return and NAV position

We recognised a GBP201 million loss on foreign exchange, net of hedging, in the quarter, as sterling strengthened against the euro and US dollar. As at 31 December 2021, 71% of the Group's net assets were in euro and 15% were in US dollar. Based on that, a 1% movement in the euro and US dollar would result in a net total return movement of GBP84 million and GBP18 million respectively. The diluted NAV per share increased to 1,235 pence (30 September 2021: 1,153 pence) or 1,215.75 pence after deducting the 19.25 pence per share first FY2022 dividend, which was paid on 12 January 2022.

Balance sheet

At 31 December 2021, gross debt was GBP975 million (30 September 2021: GBP975 million), net debt was GBP709 million and gearing 5.9%. The first FY2022 dividend of GBP186 million (or 19.25 pence per share) was paid on 12 January 2022. Liquidity, including our undrawn RCF, was GBP766 million at 31 December 2021.

- ENDS -


 1.   Balance sheet values are stated net of foreign exchange translation. Where applicable, the 
       GBP equivalents at 31 December 2021 in this update have been calculated at a currency exchange 
       rate of EUR1.1913: GBP1 and $1.3546: GBP1 respectively. 
 2.   At 31 December 2021 3i had 969 million diluted shares. 
 3.   Action was valued using a post discount run-rate EBITDA multiple of 18.5x based on its LTM 
       run-rate earnings to 2 January 2022 of EUR921 million. The LTM run-rate earnings used include 
       our normal adjustment to reflect stores opened in the year, as well as the add back of EUR10 
       million of exceptional Covid-19 related costs incurred in Action's first quarter of 2021. 

For further information, please contact:

Silvia Santoro

Group Investor Relations Director

Tel: 020 7975 3258

Kathryn van der Kroft

Communications Director

Tel: 020 7975 3021

About 3i Group

3i is a leading international investment manager focused on mid-market Private Equity and Infrastructure. Our core investment markets are northern Europe and North America. For further information, please visit: www.3i.com .

All statements in this performance update relate to the three-month period ended 31 December 2021 unless otherwise stated. The financial information is unaudited and is presented on 3i's non-GAAP Investment basis in order to provide users with the most appropriate description of the drivers of 3i's performance. Net asset value ("NAV") and total return are the same on the Investment basis and on an IFRS basis. Details of the differences between 3i's consolidated financial statements prepared on an IFRS basis and under the Investment basis are provided in the 2021 Annual report and accounts. There have been no material changes to the financial position of 3i from the end of this quarter to the date of this announcement.

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January 27, 2022 02:00 ET (07:00 GMT)

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