Humana, the US health insurer, has announced a Q2 profit increase of 4.2% assisted in part by acquisitions increasing the company's customer base.

The company reported a profit of $84.1 million, or 51 cents per share, compared with an $80.8 million a year earlier. Humana also reported a 3.4% rise in revenue to $3.55 billion.

Humana acquired CarePlus Health Plans of Florida in February this year and added 50,000 new customers as a result. The acquisition has boosted earnings projections for the year while shares of Humana rose 39 cents to $39.85 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

In June the company said it expected Q2 earnings of 47 cents to 50 cents a share. Humana also reaffirmed a 2005 profit forecast of $2.23 to $2.25 per share. The Kentucky-based firm expects to expand Medicare operations to 46 states from 25.

This quarter’s results reflect the increasing momentum we are seeing in our Medicare operations, together with solid execution in our other diversified lines of business, said Michael B. McCallister, Humana’s president and CEO. Humana’s dedication to the consumer, supported by both innovation and operational diligence, has us well positioned for future growth.