Eni SpA, Italy's largest natural gas and oil company, says third quarter earnings have risen on the back of higher production in Libya.

Eni said Tuesday that net profit for the quarter that ended Sept. 30 was €2.5 billion ($3.2 billion), compared with €1.77 billion a year earlier. Profit was higher than the $1.58 billion expected in the markets.

Sales were €31.49 billion, more or less in line with market expectations.

Eni says oil and natural gas production was up 16 percent to 1.72 million barrels of oil equivalent a day.

CEO Paolo Scaroni called the results "strong" with continued improvement in Libyan output.