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French lender BNP Paribas beats profit estimates as expenses decline

BNP Paribas (file photo)
BNP Paribas (file photo) Copyright Jacques Brinon/AP
Copyright Jacques Brinon/AP
By Angela Barnes
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French lender BNP Paribas beats profit estimates for the first quarter (Q1) as expenses fell.

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On a big week for banks with numerous lenders posting financial results, BNP Paribas updated investors too on Thursday with its latest first-quarter earnings, which beat analyst estimates.

BNP Paribas said net income for Q1 was down 2.% to €3.1 billion. However, it was well ahead of the €2.48 billion that analysts polled by Bloomberg had expected. The bank said this was helped by lower than expected provisions and a decline in expenses.

Overall revenue, meanwhile, fell 0.4% to €12.5 billion but topped the €12.2 billion expected by the market.

The French bank also reported that income from buying and selling debt securities, currencies and commodities slumped 20% from a year earlier. It said this offset strong gains in equities trading and capital markets.

In contrast, Deutsche Bank, which also reported its quarterly earnings, noted a 7% increase in fixed income and currencies trading revenue.

However, Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, BNP Paribas' chief executive officer, was optimistic.

"On the strength of its diversified and integrated model, the group achieved good performances in the first quarter 2024, thanks to business momentum in the operating divisions. BNP Paribas continues to demonstrate its ability to generate value and confirms its 2024 trajectory, with revenue growth expected to surpass 2% compared to 2023 and Net Income above the 2023 distributable result."

Bonnafé also noted that BNP Paribas continues to focus on expanding its market shares and rolling out strategic initiatives.

The bank's chief executive has also made its investment banking division a key driver in its growth plans and sees the markets activities expanding annually by more than 7.5% on average over the 2021 to 2025 period.

BNP Paribas continues to demonstrate its ability to generate value and confirms its 2024 trajectory, with revenue growth expected to surpass 2% compared to 2023 and Net Income above the 2023 distributable result.
Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, BNP Paribas' chief executive officer

BNP Paribas also said for this year, its goal is to generate full-year earnings of more than €11.2 billion. 

It also gave a new target for group revenue, saying it expected it to exceed its 2023 distributable sales of €46.9 billion euros by more than 2%, and that the effects of cost cutting flagged previously would begin from the second quarter.

The bank's share price was trading up 0.27% at €67.91 at the time of writing (11:54 CET), after the results update on Thursday 25 April.

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