By Inti Landauro and Matthieu Protard
PARIS (Reuters) - France's largest listed bank BNP Paribas lowered its profitability and revenue growth targets for 2020 after adverse financial markets hit revenues in the fourth quarter of 2018.
BNP Paribas was now expecting a return on equity of 9.5 percent in 2020, down from a prior target of above 10 percent. The bank also lowered its revenue growth target to 1.5 percent per year between 2016 and 2020, from a prior 2.5 percent target.
The bank downgraded its expectations after revenue fell 1.5 percent in 2018 to 42.52 billion euros (£37.5 billion).
In the fourth quarter revenue fell short of market expectations, coming in at 10.16 billion euros. Analysts surveyed by Infront Data forecast revenues at 10.33 billion euros. Revenue in the fourth quarter of 2017 was 10.53 billion.
Net profit was slightly above market expectations at 1.44 billion euros, compared with an expected 1.41 billion euros, and marking a marginal increase from fourth quarter net profit of 1.43 billion euros a year earlier.
BNP Paribas' revenues from global markets were crushed by the downturn of world markets during the fourth quarter and fell 40 percent compared to the same period a year ago, the bank said, adding that the unit had posted a pre-tax loss.
(Reporting by Inti Landauro and Matthieu Protard; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)