Prudential, the country's biggest insurer, reported a 14 percent increase in its new business profit over the first nine months of the year, narrowly beating forecasts, with sustained strong growth in the United States and Asia offsetting a flat performance in the UK.

Prudential had a new business profit of 1.53 billion pounds in the nine months to September 30, up from 1.34 billion pounds in the same period last year, the company said on Tuesday.

Analysts had expected a profit of 1.51 billion pounds, according to a consensus forecast calculated by the company.

Prudential has delivered strong results in the third quarter in a volatile and challenging environment, Prudential CEO Tidjane Thiam said in a statement.

Prudential shares were up 3 percent at 636.5 pence by 9:13 a.m., outpacing a 1.2 percent rise in the FTSE 100 share index.

(Reporting by Myles Neligan; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)