Italian insurer Generali's first-quarter operating profit rose 6 percent to top forecasts as growth in its life business offset a fall in non-life activity.
Europe's No. 3 insurer said the figure stood at 1.326 billion euros ($1.5 billion) - its best quarterly result in seven years and above an analyst poll of 1.28 billion euros.
Premiums in the first three months of the year rose 8.3 percent to 20.1 billion euros, driven by a 12.7 percent growth in its life business, and especially unit-linked policies.
A Milan-based broker said the results were better than expected with operating profits benefiting from stronger financial markets.
At 07:40 GMT Generali shares were up 1.1 percent while the Italian blue-chip index was down 0.6 percent.
Like its rivals, Generali has been faced with weak economic growth in its domestic market and rock-bottom interest rates that have eaten away at investment returns.