Shares in 3i Group were down on the FTSE 100 in morning trading after the private equity company issued a trading update on its financial year ended 31 March 2011.

In the 11 months to 28 February the group invested £581 million, up from £311 million in the same period the previous year. The majority of the group's investment went on private equity buyouts.

The group also said that it expected strong unrealised profits from its portfolio to be "materially offset by reductions in value in a small number of portfolio companies".

At the end of February 3i said it had net debt of £422 million, down from £467 million at the end of December 2010.

Michael Queen, Chief Executive of 3i, said, "We have made good strategic progress across our whole business. Overall, the private equity portfolio has performed well. There have, however, been marked regional differences, with strong growth in Northern Europe counterbalanced by weaker performance from UK companies. This regional dispersion in performance is due to a combination of macro and company specific factors."

By 09:00 shares in 3i were down 3.38 per cent on the FTSE 100 to 288.80 pence per share.