By Pietro Lombardi

 

BNP Paribas SA added on Friday another beat to a series of strong earnings by European banks thanks to strong activity at its investment bank and falling provisions.

The French bank's first-quarter net profit rose 38% to 1.77 billion euros ($2.15 billion), beating analysts' expectations of EUR1.24 billion, according to a consensus forecast provided by FactSet.

The Paris-based lender, the country's biggest by assets, joined other large European banks, such as Spain's Banco Santander SA and Germany's Deutsche Bank AG, that reported bumper earnings, with provisions trending downward and investment-bank units benefiting from strong client activity in volatile markets.

At BNP, provisions for soured loans declined 37% to EUR896 million. The corporate and investment bank division posted a 24% increase in quarterly revenue, with global markets revenue up 41%. In the same period last year, the bank took a hit in its equity-derivatives unit from companies that canceled their dividend payments.

The bank's international financial-services unit--which includes wealth management, consumer finance and insurance--also performed well, with pretax profit almost doubling.

 

Write to Pietro Lombardi at pietro.lombardi@wsj.com; @pietrolombard10

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 30, 2021 01:22 ET (05:22 GMT)

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