Crédit Agricole Profit Lifted by Fixed-Income Rebound -- Update

By Noemie Bisserbe Features Dow Jones Newswires

Crédit Agricole SA, France's No. 2 listed bank by assets, said Thursday its first-quarter net profit more than tripled, aided by the boom in bond trading that has lifted banks globally and a pickup in loan demand.

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The Paris-based lender said net profit rose to EUR845 million ($918 million) from EUR227 million a year earlier. That beat analysts' expectations for a profit of EUR701 million, according to data provider FactSet. In the year-earlier quarter, the bank booked a EUR448 million charge to restructure part of its debt and help cut costs.

Revenue rose 24% to EUR4.7 billion.

Like rivals BNP Paribas SA and Société Générale SA, as well as lenders around the world, Crédit Agricole benefited from a rebound in bond trading, fueled by political uncertainty and rising U.S. interest rates.

The bank's first-quarter earnings also highlight a pickup in the eurozone economy after years of crisis and a slow recovery.

Net profit at its corporate and investment bank surged 87% to EUR304 million, while retail lender LCL posted a 65% jump in net profit to EUR140 million.

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Crédit Agricole's insurance and asset-management business reported a 5% increase in net profit to EUR398 million, while net profit for its specialized financial-services business rose 56% to EUR201 million.

Net profit for its international retail-banking business, which includes Italy, Poland and Egypt, rose 15% to EUR61 million.

The bank's core Tier 1 ratio, which compares top-quality capital such as equity and retained earnings with risk-weighted assets, stood at 11.9% in March, down from 12.1% in December.

The bank's leverage ratio, which measures capital held by the bank against its total assets, was 4.7% in March, compared with 5% in December.

Write to Noemie Bisserbe at noemie.bisserbe@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 11, 2017 02:47 ET (06:47 GMT)