French banking group BNP Paribas’ shares hit a record high after it reported a better-than-expected 25% rise in first-quarter net profit at 2.51 billion euros. Revenues increased by over 20% to 8.2 billion. That was due to higher corporate and investment bank earnings and gains from sales of assets. The figures also reflect a smooth integration of Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, the Italian bank it bought last year.
The one black spot was a 20% drop in pretax profit at the group’s US unit BancWest, though that was partly due to the weakness of the dollar against the euro.