TORONTO  - Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) reported an 11 per cent increase in second quarter earnings, beating market forecasts, helped by a strong performance in its capital markets and wealth management businesses.

Canada's biggest lender by assets and market value on Thursday said earnings per share, excluding one-off items, rose to $1.85 per share in the quarter to April 30 from $1.66 a year earlier. Analysts had on average forecast earnings of $1.80, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data.

Net income increased by 9 per cent from the year before to $2.8 billion.

The bank said net income at its wealth management business increased by 12 per cent from a year ago to $431 million, benefiting from strong equity markets.

Net income at its capital markets business grew by 15 percent to C$668 million, driven by improved results in its corporate and investment banking and global markets businesses.

"RBC had a strong second quarter … reflecting solid growth across most of our businesses and prudent risk management. I'm very pleased with our performance for the first half of the year given the uncertain operating environment," said RBC CEO David McKay in a statement.