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BNP Paribas profit rises as loan demand revives

BNP Paribas posted better-than-expected 17.5 percent growth in first-quarter net income on Thursday as the French bank saw a long-awaited revival in euro zone loan demand.

PHILIPPE HUGUEN | AFP | Getty Images

Boosted by firm investment banking activity, France's biggest bank reported net income of 1.648 billion euros ($1.83 billion), up from 1.403 in the first three months of 2014.

The result, which included a 245 million euro contribution to a new European fund to handle failed banks, topped analysts' average expectation for 1.458 billion as polled by Thomson Reuters.

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Revenue, a fifth of which comes from dollars, grew 11.6 percent to 11.065 billion euros as the European currency fell to a 12-year low against the dollar.

Lars Machenil, chief financial officer of BNP Paribas, told CNBC that the lender was delivering a "well balanced kind of growth" and highlighted the good performance in its corporate and investment banking division.

When asked about increased expenditure he said: "Our costs are growing a lot slower than our revenues. The total amount is high, let's not forget, there are effects of acquisitions that we have done last year."