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23 Sep 2020 | 07:48

3i says Action retail business beats expectations

(Sharecast News) - 3i said results at its Action discount retail business beat expectations in the past three months as the private equity investor reported mixed trading at its other portfolio businesses. Action's sales, earnings and cash generation exceeded expectations in July, August and September to date, 3i said. Sales in the year to date are about 8% up from a year earlier at more than €3.7bn. Earnings in September will be about €575m compared with €506m a year earlier.

The Benelux-based retailer has opened 88 stores in 2020 including its first five in the Czech Republic, where trading has been well ahead of expectations, 3i said. Action has a cash balance of more than €625m based on strong cash generation.

3i shares rose 1.9% to 939p at 08:10 BST.

The company said after reviewing its investments in September the auto industry was under pressure and the travel sector faced uncertain trading because of Covid-19. But it said companies linked to medical technology and personal care had strong momentum and its retail businesses had recovered. led by online and Action.

The company said: "We have now completed our September semi-annual portfolio company reviews for private equity, infrastructure and [ferry operator] Scandlines, which have reinforced our belief in the resilience and strength of earnings performance in the significant majority of our investments."

3i published its update before a presentation to investors scheduled for 14:00 BST.
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