Despite better-than-expected first-quarter results, Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest bank, said Friday it was sticking to its controversial plans to cut thousands of jobs this year. In the first three months of the current year, Deutsche Bank was able to lift net profit by 17 percent to 1.1 billion euros ($1.4 billion), the bank revealed in its first-quarter report published Friday. Pre-tax profit rose by 14 percent at 1.8 billion euros and total revenues grew by seven percent to 6.6 billion euros. The figures were much higher than analysts had been expecting. "We are proud of what we have achieved in the first quarter," Josef Ackermann wrote in a letter to shareholders prefacing the report. "This excellent result underlines our leading position, both in Germany and internationally." But the weak economic climate in Germany was a particular challenge for the bank, Ackermann said. "The measures we have had to take are painful, but there is no alternative," he wrote. "If we are to safeguard our future, we must tackle the issue of cost-efficiency in those parts of our business where we still need to match our world-class competitors." Deutsche Bank had come under heavy fire in February when it announced it planned to axe 6,400 jobs worldwide, including 1,920 in Germany, despite turning in record profits last year.