PARIS (Reuters) - BNP Paribas' first quarter net profits rose from last year and beat expectations, with earnings at France's largest listed bank buoyed by a recovery at its corporate and finance arm thanks to a more favourable market environment.
Net profits rose 22 percent from the same period in 2018 to 1.92 billion euros (£1.7 billion). Analysts polled by Infront Data for Reuters expected a net profit of 1.71 billion euros.
Overall revenues rose 3.2 percent to 11.14 billion euros, above analysts' forecasts for revenues of 10.65 billion.
The upturn at its corporate and investment banking arm, mainly thanks to more favourable market conditions in the last part of the quarter, allowed BNP Paribas to recover from the hit it took in late 2018 from a brutal and general market meltdown.
As returns on traditional retail banking have plummeted in recent years because of rock-bottom interest rates, large banks such as BNP Paribas have come to depend more on corporate and investment banking, which is vulnerable to swings in financial markets.
(Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)