A View from the Top: What the CEOs are Saying

Chief executives from around Europe discussed their companies' earnings, opportunities and the challenges they face in 2008 with CNBC Europe Tuesday.

Danske Bank CFO on "Squawk Box Europe"

"I don't think anything in particular went wrong (in the first quarter). We were affected by the capital markets. The turbulence in the first quarter, where mark-to-mark business on our bond portfolio and on equities meant that we had a lower result than expected," Tonny Thierry Andersen, CFO of Danske Bank said.

"I think that we can see that there are impact on the real economy from the financial crisis in the market and that will lead to lower lending demand."

"There's no doubt that economic growth is affected by the financial crisis in the market, particularly you can see in the mortgage lending in Denmark or in other countries, whereas on the corporate side you still see quite benign lending growth.

Video: Danske Bank Downgrades its Full-Year Targets

Rasmala Founder & Chief Executive Ali al Shihabi on "Squawk Box Europe"

"In a way the Gulf is the last unopened emerging market. It's underpinned by the price of oil and the price of oil is substantially above the budgetary requirements. Double the budgetary requirements of the Gulf region. So large financial reserves have also been built. And then we've had an economic reform in varying degrees over the last two years/three years," Ali al Shihabi, founder & chief executive of Rasmala told CNBC on the attractiveness of banking stocks in Middle East.

"I think global capital now with what has happened with the subprime crisis has come to recognise that there is a very substantial opportunity that awaits them in the Middle East, but specifically in the Gulf region, and we're seeing a lot of interest."

Video: Middle East Banks & the Credit Squeeze

Continental CFO Dr. Alan Hippe on "Worldwide Exchange"

"Synthetic rubber gets much more expensive with the high oil price, and there we have to compensate, either with price increases or with efficiencies," Dr. Alan Hippe, CFO of Continental told CNBC.

"We provide technologies to bring fuel consumption down and reduce CO2 emissions … certainly the high oil price gives us a major opportunity to bring our products into the market."

Video: Continental CFO on Profit Fall

Executive Vice President & CFO of Dassault Systemes Thibault de Tersant on "Power Lunch Europe"

"The dollar is hiding our true results, because in reported euros in first quarter we have reported a 4.5 percent increase in revenue, excluding currency impact, it would have been 10 percent. If we had been a U.S. based company, we would have reported a 20 percent increase in our revenue this morning. So it's hiding the true performance of what we do, I think," Thibault de Tersant, executive vice president & CFO of Dassault Systemes explains why the company has trimmed its full-year earnings-per-share forecasts.

Video: Dassault Systemes Trims its Outlook

Nordea CEO Christian Clausen on "Power Lunch Europe"

"We have virtually no exposure to subprime or the derivatives from subprime; we are not active in that market. And we are actually not exposed too much to the credit spread widening we have seen, and the turmoil in general because we run a pretty conservative risk management approach, so we have not been engaged and therefore have virtually no writedowns," Christian Clausen, CEO of Nordea explains after the bank reported a rise in first-quarter operating profit.

"The period really has been a successful period for us. We reported an almost record first quarter, very, very strong, and an outlook for the year, also looking forward to a record year. The challenges, of course, are there. We have the challenges of the exchange rates, we have the challenges of high food stock prices. But the strength of our business can much, much more than compensate for those challenges," Rolf Dieter Schwalb, CFO of DSM told CNBC Europe.

Video: Nordea's Earnings Top Estimates