Shares in Unipol up more than 8 percent after results

MILAN (Reuters) - Shares in Italian insurer Unipol <UNPI.MI> rose more than 8 percent in early Milan trade after 2012 results beat analyst expectations.

Unipol said on Thursday the 2012 net profit of the new group that will be created from the merger with peer Fondiaria-SAI <FOSA.MI> was 441 million euros.

The Bologna-based insurer, which said it will pay a dividend on 2012 results of 0.15 euros per ordinary share, said its net profit on a stand alone basis was 241 million euros.

"The numbers were very good and above market expectations," said a Milan trader.

(Reporting By Stephen Jewkes, editing by Francesca Landini)