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Earnings

French bank BNP Paribas posts profit beat as market environment improves

Key Points
  • The bank's performance was supported by stronger client activity in its corporate and institutional banking despite what the lender described as a "lackluster" market context.
  • France's largest bank said Thursday that it's committed to delivering an extra half a billion euros in cost savings this year, which includes reducing staff and bank branches.
VIDEO2:1202:12
BNP Paribas' first-quarter profit beats expectations

BNP Paribas reported a net income of 1.92 billion euros ($2.15 billion) for the first quarter, a jump of 22% from the same period the year before.

Analysts were expecting a profit of 1.71 billion euros for the quarter, according to Reuters. The bank's performance was supported by stronger client activity in its corporate and institutional banking sector, describing an improving market environment after a "lackluster" start to the year.

Here are some other key metrics for the quarter:

  • Revenues of 11.1 billion euros, vs. 10.8 billion euros a year ago.
  • Common Equity Tier (CET) 1 Ratio of 11.7% — a 10 basis point drop from the previous quarter.

France's largest bank said Thursday that it's committed to delivering an extra half a billion euros in cost savings this year, which includes reducing staff and bank branches.

VIDEO1:1901:19
BNP Paribas not interested in any acquisitions at this stage, CFO says

BNP updated its 2020 targets at the end of 2018, after facing some challenges that led to a 3% year-on-year drop in net income. The lender did not make any changes to these targets after the first quarter of 2019.

"For us … it's all about digitization … We are not looking at any acquisitions," Lars Machenil, the bank's chief financial officer told CNBC Thursday. Recent media reports had suggested that BNP Paribas was considering buying the German lender Commerzbank.

Machenil also told CNBC's Julianna Tatelbaum that the drop in its CET 1 ratio — an important metric used to gauge the health of a bank — was due to new accounting rules and he expected capital growth to pick up throughout the year.

"The impact from January 1 is basically the introduction of new accounting rules," he said. "But from that point we basically stayed stable in the first quarter."

VIDEO1:3601:36
BNP Paribas CFO: Global market pickup lower than expected