Italy's oil and gas giant Eni achieved a 2.5-percent rise in net profit in the third quarter, it said on Thursday despite a drop in production and falling oil prices.
Thanks to a lower tax rate, the company's three-month profits after adjustment for special factors were 1.17 billion euros ($1.47 billion), beating analysts expectation of 860 million euros.
Operating profit on a 12-month comparison dropped 11.8 percent to 3.03 billion euros, hit by a slump in oil prices on the back of weaker global demand, Eni said in a statement.
"I am confident that our strategy and the results it will produce are the best way to ensure profitability and financial robustness for Eni in an environment of declining prices," chief executive Claudio Descalzi said.
The Italian company forecast its 2014 hydrocarbon output would be substantially in line with production last year, while gas sales may dip slightly.
Eni also said on Thursday it had made an "important discovery" in an area off the coast of Congo, which would produce up to 1.0 billion barrels of oil equivalent.