France's largest bank, BNP Paribas reported a 45 percent fall in first-quarter net income on Friday and CEO Jean-Laurent Bonnafé told CNBC given the current environment he is satisfied with the result.
Bonnafé said the bank suffered from the weak economic outlook in Europe and low interest rates which damaged its profitability. The bank also reduced the size of its corporate and investment banking (CIB) activity.
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BNP Paribas said quarterly earnings fell to 1.58 billion euros ($2.07 billion) from 2.87 billion euros in the year-ago period, when profits were boosted by the sale of part of its stake in real-estate subsidiary Klepierre. The profit figure slightly beat analysts' expectations of 1.53 billion euros, according to an average of analysts' forecasts compiled by Thomson Reuters.
"The situation in Europe for capital markets was not that favorable and in that context we are quite satisfied with the results," said Bonnafé.
"If we look at the corporate bank, basically this is the result of the deleveraging, so revenues evolve just like the decrease of the outstandings."
Bonnafé said the first quarter results could not be compared to the strong numbers seen this time last year.
"If you look at those results compared to the fourth quarter of 2012, the results are strong, but cannot be compared to the very strong result with CIB we had in the first quarter last year."
Shares were trading just over 1 percent higher following the results.
—By CNBC.com's Jenny Cosgrave; Follow her on Twitter @jenny_cosgrave