MILAN — Italian gas and oil company Eni says first-quarter profits dropped slightly as production grew by 4 percent amid rising oil prices.

Eni on Friday reported net profit in the quarter down 2 percent to 946 million euros ($1.1 billion), from 965 million euros a year earlier.

Production rose to 1.867 million barrels of oil equivalent a day, with oil prices up 8 percent year-on-year.

With operating net profit — or profits before taxes and interest — up by 30 percent to 978 million euros, Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi said that Eni's results were "over and above the rising price of oil."

During the quarter, Eni acquired a concession in the United Arab Emirates and sold an additional 10 percent in its Zohr field in Egypt.