Pre-close period briefing

30 Sep 2004

3i Group plc ("3i"), Europe's leading venture capital company, will today start its pre close period analyst briefings ahead of the announcement of its interim results on 4 November 2004.

The results for the half year will be based on the normal detailed valuation exercise carried out at 30 September 2004.

The main topics that will be discussed during the briefings are:

Strategy

3i's key strategies are to: 

  • Build strong businesses in each of the major venture capital and private equity markets
  • Achieve a balanced business by product, by industry sector and by geographic region
  • Invest in companies that have the potential to grow their revenues and profits
  • Use our international network to provide real competitive advantage for 3i and our investee companies
 

Organisation and management changes

3i is announcing the following organisational and management changes today:

  • Chris Rowlands the member of 3i's Executive Committee currently responsible for Growth Capital and Asia Pacific is appointed to a new role Head of Group Markets, with responsibility for further developing the benefits of the Group's geographic network as well as its sector and business contacts
  • Michael Queen, the Group's Finance Director, will be appointed to succeed Chris Rowlands as Head of Growth Capital once a new Finance Director is appointed
  • Denise Collis is appointed as Group Human Resources Director with effect from 8 November and will join the Executive Committee on that date. Denise is currently Partner, Head of Human Resources of Ernst & Young
  • The process has commenced to appoint a new Finance Director, who is expected to be an external candidate

The implementation of these changes will result in the following Executive Committee structure.

Chief Executive: Philip Yea
Finance Director: To be appointed
Head of Buy Outs: Jonathan Russell
Head of Growth Capital: Michael Queen
Head of Venture Capital: Rod Perry
Head of Group Markets: Chris Rowlands
Head of Funds: Paul Waller
Group Human Resources Director: Denise Collis
Company Secretary: Tony Brierley

 

Commenting on these changes, Philip Yea, CEO said "Today's changes will improve 3i's engagement with the market. We have an unparalleled network of people and offices which is already of real advantage to each of our three business lines. Deploying our scale with greater speed and agility is a winning strategy."

Investment

Investment, including co-investment funds to 31 August 2004, totalled £365 million. This compares with total investment of £187 million, including co-investment funds, to 31 August 2003.

Realisations

Realisation proceeds were £577 million in the five months to 31 August 2004. This compares to realisation proceeds of £409 million to 31 August 2003.

Unquoted portfolio 

The latest Enterprise Barometer survey of the 3i portfolio was published on 10 September 2004. The overall result remained positive at +30, despite showing a slight fall from the last quarter, +49. There is, however, considerable variation in confidence levels across Europe. The majority of 3i's unquoted portfolio continues to perform satisfactorily.

We expect that the level of provisions for investments that may fail and downrounds for the period to 30 September 2004 will be at lower levels than for the interim period to 30 September 2003. 

Commenting on these numbers, Philip Yea, CEO said:

"Today's trading statement contains good news on the investment front, another strong performance in terms of realisations and the organisational changes we have announced will build on this momentum."

3i Group Pension Plan

In preparation for International Accounting Standards (IAS), the Group will fully implement Financial Reporting Standard 17 (FRS 17) "Retirement Benefits" for the Interim Statement to 30 September 2004. Adoption in full of this UK Accounting Standard is expected to result in substantially the same accounting treatment as that which will occur upon adoption of IAS. As disclosed in the notes to the Report and Accounts for the year to 31 March 2004, fully implementing FRS 17 at 31 March 2004 would have resulted in a £110 million reduction in consolidated net assets which will be accounted for as a prior year adjustment.

During the period, the routine Actuarial valuation of the 3i Group Pension Plan as at 30 June 2004 highlighted an actuarial deficit on the ongoing funding basis of £67 million. Since 30 June 2004, contributions of £63 million have been made to the Plan to largely eliminate this deficit. These payments have no impact on net asset value.

For information please contact:

3i Group plc
Michael Queen, Finance Director -  020 7975 3386
Patrick Dunne, Group Communications Director -  020 7975 3283

Maitland Consultancy
Philip Gawith -  020 7379 5151