BNP Paribas experienced the increase with the help of its French and US consumer-banking businesses, it noted in an emailed statement.
Baudouin Prot, the organisation's chief executive officer, said: "All the business units contributed to this good performance."
Net income rose to â¬2.62 billion ($3.9 billion) from the â¬2.28 billion recorded 12 months earlier.
It meant that the lender beat the â¬2.22 billion average estimated by a team of ten analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
The news agency noted that the bank was able to bolster its balance sheet by making a number of takeovers during the economic downturn.
German lender Deutsche Bank recently posted a 17 per cent increase in earnings for the first quarter of 2011 - again beating the predictions of experts polled by Bloomberg.
By Claire Archer