People walk past BNP Paribas, a French international banking group.

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LONDON – BNP Paribas reported an annual profit jump of 26% for the second quarter of this year on Friday, beating market expectations.

The French bank said its net income reached 2.9 billion euros ($ 3.44 billion) for the three months ended June. In comparison, analysts had pointed to a net profit of 2.24 billion euros, according to Refinitiv.

BNP Paribas said recent results benefited from a recovery in business as economies eased some lockdown measures on Covid-19.

“The economy is booming, if you look at the volume of card transactions, corporate transactions, and digital transactions, they have really increased. and it all basically drives that [performance]“Lars Makeil, Chief Financial Officer of BNP Paribas, told CNBC.

In the area of ​​home markets, sales increased by almost 10% compared to the previous year. In contrast, the investment banking unit recorded a drop in sales of almost 10%.

The French lender justified the decline in income in investment banking with the fact that its performance was exceptionally high a year ago.

Speaking to CNBC’s Charlotte Reed, Makeil avoided highlighting the unit’s performance in the quarter, saying, “At BNP, we look at CIB (Corporate and Institutional Banking) as a whole, with all services, because sometimes there is more demand for one than the one others.”

“Our entire corporate and institutional banking business is growing steadily,” he said.

Further highlights of the district:

  • Sales reached 11.8 billion euros, unchanged from the previous year.
  • The CET 1 ratio, a measure of the solvency of banks, was 12.9% compared to 12.8 in the previous quarter.
  • Operating expenses decreased by 2.3% compared to the previous year.

Extra dividend

BNP Paribas announced that it will distribute an additional cash dividend of EUR 1.55 per share. In May, the bank paid a dividend of EUR 1.11 per share.

Make the last quarter “historic” but hinted that the outlook for the bank this year could be better than originally expected.

BNP Paribas shares are up 21% since the start of the year.