Natixis posted net profit of 267 million euros ($354 million) in the second quarter, up 4 percent on the previous year, and beating the Reuters consensus estimate of 224 million euros.
Revenue rose 2 percent over the period, to 1.78 billion euros ($2.36 billion), up 2 percent on the previous year, and above the expected 1.74 billion euros.
Natixis CEO Laurent Mignon told CNBC that the strong performance of the bank's investment solutions and specialized financial services divisions had helped boost its results. Net profit rose by 12 percent in the former division, and 6 percent in the latter.
Mignon said Natixis' profit had also been boosted by cost-cutting measures, with decreased costs from both the wholesale banking business and from specialized financial services. He did not mention job cuts, but on Sunday, France's Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper reported that the bank plans to cuts 500-700 workers via voluntary redundancies.
In addition, Mignon said the bank had been boosted by signs of economic improvement in the euro zone, with market conditions improving in July, after a difficult June.
"There are signs of improvement in the euro zone, but I think it is too early to count on that in terms of projections of any real turnaround… Signs are positive for the time being, but we have to stay cautious about it," he told CNBC.
Earlier on Tuesday, France's third-biggest bank, Credit Agricole, reported a 12-fold gain in quarterly profit, with second-quarter revenue also topping expectations.
(Read more: Credit Agricole Q2 profit surges, beats forecast)
(Read more: Bumper European bank earnings boost stocks)