GIANT French banks Societe Generale and Credit Agricole both reported rising profits in the first quarter of the year yesterday, despite weakness in their home economy.
A focus on cost-cutting, plus signs of an economic recovery in the rest of the Eurozone boosted their prospects in the three-month period.
SocGen’s net income rose five-fold on the year to €868m (£644m), helped particularly by a 16.7 per cent rise in asset and wealth management revenue, and a 32.5 per cent rise in equity activities revenue.
Credit Agricole’s net income increased by 2.6 per cent to €784m, as its revenues rose 7.5 per cent to €4.4bn. Lending volumes rose one per cent and total customer assets 3.2 per cent, “despite the continued sluggish economic climate and unfavourable interest rate environment,” said the bank.
SocGen’s shares fell 2.3 per cent on the day, while Credit Agricole’s slid less than one per cent.