Deutsche Bank, the biggest German bank, today posted the second best quarterly profit in its history, owing to a combination of strong investment banking activities, retail banking and asset management.

Net profit in the first three months of the year climbed to €2.1 billion from €1.8 billion in the same period of 2010. The result came within a few million euro of the bank's best quarterly result, in early 2007 before the global financial crisis erupted.

A major contributor to the results was the group's core investment bank activities, which reported a pre-tax profit of €2.6 billion, stable on the year. Retail banking and asset management activities made considerable progress meanwhile, with a pre-tax result that leapt from €184m a year ago to €978m this time around.

The 'record result' stemmed from the acquisitions last year of Postbank, which has Germany's largest retail banking network, and the private bank Sal Oppenheim.

Additional help was provided by the consolidation in Deutsche Bank's books of its 19.99% stake in Hua Xia Bank, a Chinese group, the statement said.

'We will continue to invest in our franchise and are confident that we will deliver on our ambitious target of income before income tax of 10 billion euros from our business divisions,' Deutsche Bank chairman Josef Ackermann said.

Of that sum, €3.5 billion had already been earned in the first quarter, the bank said.