US life insurance giant MetLife has posted second quarter profits of $2.2 billion, sending shares up by 5%.

The company said it doubled its 2004 result of $954 million, after selling its Madison Avenue and Park Avenue properties in New York for a total of $1.2 billion.

Higher interest spreads also boosted the earnings of the firm’s institutional business earnings, which rose 13% to $358 million, and its individual business operations.

Auto & home earnings were up 42% from $71 million last year to $101 million in 2005.

MetLife claims its overall business growth in Latin America and Asia also contributed to the segment’s growth during the quarter, as well as fees from universal life and investment products which rose to $814 million from $721 million a year ago.

The company expects to increase its profits over the next few years after it completed its acquisition of Travelers Life & Annuity earlier this month.