Sturgeon admitted her party, which lost 21 seats across Scotland, "suffered some bitter losses".
“In Scotland, the SNP won this election. We have more seats than any other party,” she said.
“However it is an inescapable fact that we suffered some bitter losses last night.”
She said plans for a second independence referendum were "undoubtedly" a factor in party losing seats.
Sturgeon added a "hard Brexit" must be abandoned after the election and also paid tribute to her Alex Salmond.
She reiterated that the the SNP will will continue to work to keep the Conservatives out and “to bring an end to austerity voters... are no longer prepared to accept”.