(Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Bank AG relied on its traders and investment bankers to make up for a slowdown in income from lending, as Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing seeks to deliver on an ambitious revenue goal.

Fixed income trading rose 7% in the first quarter, more than analysts had expected and better than most of the biggest US investment banks. Income from advising on deals and stock and bond sales jumped 54%.

Revenue for the group rose about 1% as the prospect of falling interest rates hurt the corporate bank and the private bank that houses the retail business.

Sewing has vowed to improve profitability and lift revenue to €30 billion this year, a goal some analysts view with skepticism as the end of the rapid rate increases weighs on revenue from lending. In the role for six years, the CEO is cutting thousands of jobs in the back office to curb costs while building out the advisory business with last year’s purchase of Numis Corp. to boost fee income.

“We are very pleased” with the investment bank, Chief Financial Officer James von Moltke said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. The trends of the first quarter “have continued into April,” he said, including “a slower macro environment” that’s being offset by “momentum in credit” and emerging markets.

While traders and investment bankers did well, revenue at the corporate bank declined 5% on lower net interest income. Private bank revenue fell about 2%. Both units benefited when central banks raised interest rates over the past two years, allowing them to charge more for loans while still paying relatively little for deposits. 

With inflation slowing and interest rates set to fall again, that effect is reversing, though markets have scaled back expectations for how quickly and how deep central banks are likely to cut. That’s lifted shares of Europe’s lenders recently, with Deutsche Bank gaining 25% this year.

Deutsche Bank gave back some of those gains on Thursday, falling 2.2% at 9:18 a.m. in Frankfurt trading, with analysts highlighting the lack of guidance on net interest income for this year.

“Deutsche Bank reported a reasonable set of results,” analysts Thomas Hallett and Andrew Stimpson at KBW wrote in a note. “The investment bank performed well while the corporate bank and asset management underperformed.”

--With assistance from Macarena Muñoz and Oliver Crook.

(Updates with shares in penultimate paragraph.)

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