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BNP Paribas posted better-than-expected first-quarter revenue and a net profit, boosted by rising trading revenues following a push to expand its investment bank.

France’s largest listed lender stuck to its financial targets for 2025, even as economic growth falters in its home market and the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine takes its toll across the eurozone. Its goals include annual revenue growth of more than 3.5 percent and an aspiration to return 60 percent of profits to shareholders.

Revenue rose 11.7 percent year-on-year to 13.2 billion euros in the first quarter, while net profit was 19.2 percent higher at 2.1 billion euros, beating analysts’ forecasts.

The bank benefited from lower risk costs as charges on non-performing loans fell sharply after a period dominated by the coronavirus pandemic and some provisions related to Bank of the West, which it is selling, were released.

Like its US peers, BNP Paribas found that business deals had cooled off in the first three months of the year and companies were issuing less debt and equity to finance acquisitions. But the bank’s equity and fixed income trading revenues rose sharply, with equity trading revenues up nearly 61 percent.

The group has integrated a prime services business it acquired from Deutsche Bank, a unit that services hedge funds, and fully in-house its Exane stock brokerage business to give itself an edge over rivals who are pulling out or their investments restructure banking units.

BNP Paribas has expanded lending across the eurozone at the height of the coronavirus pandemic and is trying to build on it.

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