UBS AG (OUBSF)  shares rose sharply in Zurich Friday after it posted a much stronger than expected set of first quarter earnings and said client inflows to its wealth management division increased by more than $5 billion. 

UBS said net profit for the three months ending in March came in at Sfr1.269 billion, up 79% from the year ago period and well had of the Sfr919 million consensus compiled by FactSet. Net interest income for the quarter was marked at Sfr1.696 billion, the bank said, again beating the Sfr1,630 billion FactSet consensus.

"Our very strong results in the first quarter highlight the power and potential of our franchise. We will continue to manage our business with discipline, focusing on sustainable performance and long-term growth," said CEO Sergio Ermotti.

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UBS also attracted a net new SFr20.5 billion to its private bank, around Sfr5 billion more than analysts' estimates.

UBS shares gained 3.2% by mid-day in Zurich to change hands at Sfr17.15 each in Zurich, extending their year-to-date gain to nearly 8%, outpacing the 3% gain for its domestic rival, Credit Suisse Group (CS) - Get Credit Suisse Group AG Sponsored ADR Report .