Shares in Societe Generale (Soc-Gen) leapt over five per cent this morning after beating market expectations of its third quarter results.
Although net income fell by 2.4 per cent to €1.1bn, this smashed what analysts had anticpated. A Reuters poll of experts had predicted net income to be nearer the €745m.
"We are conquering new clients, both individual clients as well as business clients," said Soc-Gen's chief exec Frederic Oudea.
The results follow a similarly upbeat results announcement from rival BNP Paribas (BNPP) last week. However, where BNPP referenced its strong bond trading as boosting performance, Soc-Gen said it had benefitted from the performance of eastern European operations, where profits were bolstered by reductions in bad loan provisions.
Soc-Gen said that its equities trading division had beaten the returns by US banks and grown profits by 17 per cent.
However, the retail business, which accounts for a third of the group's profits, continued to be a thorn in its side. Revenues declined by six per cent with home loan and financial fees remaining sluggish.
"The French retail is the business which is impacted [in] some part by the very low rate environment and even negative rate environment," said Oudea but refused to be downbeat about things. "That should not hide the very good commercial performances," he added.
Investors will also be buoyed by the fact that Soc-Gen continues to make progress on bolstering its capital buffers – from 11.1 per cent to 11.4 per cent. "That’s also something that we implement step by step, quarter after quarter," said Oudea.