BNP Paribas profits down in Q1 as market slows

Paris (AFP) –


French bank BNP Paribas on Friday reported a drop in net profits for the first quarter, blaming a "lacklustre market context" and the effects of an unfavourable exchange rate.

France's biggest bank said in a statement that net profit was down to 1.6 billion euros ($1.9 billion) from 1.9 billion euros this time last year -- a 17 percent drop.

Nonetheless, it performed slightly better than analysts had predicted.

"BNP Paribas delivered solid results this quarter," the statement said.

"There was good business development in the context of economic recovery in Europe but results recorded an unfavourable exchange rate effect as well as the impact of a lacklustre market context compared to the first quarter of last year," it added.

Bank revenues stood at 10.8 million euros, down 4.4 percent year-on-year, the statement said. Operating income plunged 25.6 percent to 1.9 million euros.

Investors were swift to react to the earnings report, as the bank's shares dipped 2.95 percent on the Paris stock exchange in early trading.

Nevertheless BNP Paribas said its results were in line with expectations.

"The group is actively implementing the 2020 transformation plan, an ambitious programme of new customer experiences, digital transformation and operating efficiency," the bank said.

"The results this quarter are in line with the expected trajectory towards the plan's objectives."