Enel SpA, Italy's largest power company, has posted profits for the first half of 2006 that are slightly higher than the profits posted in the same period of last year.

The company revealed profits of E1.98 billion in the first six months of this year, representing a 3% rise from the E1.92 billion figure from a year ago. The company’s shares climbed around 2% on the results, which comfortably beat analyst’s forecasts.

The company also reported revenues of E19.3 billion, compared with E16.2 billion for the same period last year.

According to reports, Enel is now looking to grow its presence in foreign markets, particularly Russia, through acquisitions. A report on Bloomberg.com suggests that the company is looking to buy its first Russian power station sometime next year and will make a joint bid for the natural gas unit of OAO Yukos Oil Co.