Credit Crunch Cuts 3i’s Revenues

LONDON (Reuters) – Private equity firm 3i Group Plc (III.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said first-half revenues from company disposals were down 43 percent as the credit crunch had made it more difficult to sell companies in which it had invested.

Realisation proceeds for the group, which owns companies as diverse as lingerie brand Agent Provocateur and laser eye correction business Ultralase, were 597 million pounds ($946.1 million) for the six months to end September, while profits on disposal were 44 percent lower at 190 million pounds.

“The credit and stock markets have deteriorated since late September, and the outlook for the global economy continues to weaken,” Chief Executive Philip Yea said in a statement on Thursday.

“Despite a resilient first six months of the year, we would expect a more challenging second half as the squeeze in credit markets persists, the economic slowdown affects portfolio earnings and M&A markets remain subdued,” he said.

3i said net asset value per share was largely flat at 10.19 pounds. It increased its interim dividend 3 pct to 6.3 pence. (Reporting by Simon Meads, editing by Will Waterman)