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These ASX 200 shares are up over 1,000% in just 3 years

Due to the market crash this year, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has recorded a 7.5% decline over the last three years.

While this is disappointing, not all shares on the market are down over the period. In fact, some have generated mouth-watering returns over the three years.

Three top ASX 200 shares that are up over 1,000% in three years are listed below:

Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT)

The Afterpay share price is up a remarkable 1495% over the last three years. The driver of this strong gain has been the success of its buy now pay later offering in the ANZ market and particularly the US market. Over the three years Afterpay has grown its active customer numbers at an extraordinary rate. For example, as of the end of March, Afterpay had 8.4 million active customers. This was up 122% over the 12 months and comprised 3.2 million customers in the ANZ market, 4.4 million customers in the US, and 0.8 million customers in the UK. From these customers the company delivered quarterly underlying sales of $2.6 billion. As a comparison, just under three years earlier on June 30 2017, Afterpay had 840,000 active customers and was generating quarterly underlying sales of $271 million.

Appen Ltd (ASX: APX)

The Appen share price has zoomed 1028% higher since this time in 2017. Investors have been fighting to get hold of the artificial intelligence company’s shares due to its explosive earnings growth. This has been driven by the increasing demand for its data services due to the growing importance of machine learning and artificial intelligence models for big business. Appen is exposed to these growing markets as its million-strong crowd-sourced team prepare the high quality data used in these models. Many of the largest tech companies in the world such as Facebook and Microsoft have been customers during the period.

Polynovo Ltd (ASX: PNV)

The PolyNovo share price is up a massive 1059% during the last three years. The driver of this strong gain has been the enormous promise of the medical device company’s NovoSorb product. It is a dermal scaffold for the regeneration of the skin when lost through extensive surgery or burn. The company is also looking to extend the use of NovoSorb into the hernia device and breast augmentation markets. Combined, these three markets have an addressable opportunity worth an estimated $7.5 billion per year.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO and Appen Ltd. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.