Unicredit, Italy's largest bank, reported from Milan on Monday that its profits jumped by 58.8 percent for the first three months of this year, or 712 million euros ($979 million), compared with the same period in 2013.
That beat analysts' forecasts of about 550 million euros, and was well above last year's first-quarter earnings of about 449 million euros.
The bank cited lower costs and a reduction in risky assets such as impaired loans.
Unicredit is facing a major review by the European Central Bank.
The bank also reported a rise in new loans to business and families, worth about 2.7 billion euros in the first three months of this year, for a rise of 63.2 percent compared to the first quarter of 2013.
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