MILAN, May 11 (Reuters) – Poste Italiane reported an 11.8% annual jump in operating profit for the first quarter as robust results from the insurance business helped the national postal operator offset weakness in the traditional mail division.

Revenues in the quarter rose 1.4% from a year ago to 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion).The insurance division reported a 7.1% rise in revenue, with operating profit up 14.4%. The financials services unit also performed well.

Operating profit, or earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), totalled 694 million euros in the period.

Poste, a conglomerate whose services span from digital payments to mobile services, said it would also enter the energy sector by year-end, with an offer based exclusively on renewable sources.

An electricity and gas offer initially dedicated to employees only will be launched in the next few weeks, CEO Matteo Del Fante said on a conference call with analysts.

Del Fante said the company was confident it would „maintain full visibility“ on its 2022 EBIT target for the key mail, parcel and distribution division, which saw a 2% drop in first quarter revenue, facts due to a tough comparison with 2021 and a challenging logistics environment.

In the first quarter of 2022, revenue for the payments and mobile business were up 20% year-on-year to 231 million euros, „driven by impressive contributions from all product lines“, Poste Italiane said in a statement

„For the first time this segment, the smallest of the company, has shown the biggest revenues increase in absolute terms,“ Del Fante said.

By 1335 GMT, shares in Poste were up 2.3%, outperforming a 1.8% drop in the Italian blue chip index.

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($1 = 0.9516 euros) (Reporting by Francesco Zecchini; editing by Valentina Za and Bernadette Baum)