May 28, 2015 / 9:13 AM / 2 years ago

Kenya's Diamond Trust Bank Q1 profit up 10 pct

NAIROBI, May 28 (Reuters) - Kenya’s Diamond Trust Bank increased first-quarter pretax profit by 9.5 percent year-on-year, helped by a growth in lending net interest income, it said on Thursday.

Banks in east Africa’s biggest economy have reported strong first quarter earnings so far in 2015, buoyed by rising lending on the back of steady economic growth.

Diamond Trust Bank, which focuses on services to small and medium-sized businesses, said pretax profit rose to 2.27 billion shillings ($23 million) in the three months to end-March.

The bank, which has subsidiaries in Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda, said net loans and advances to customers increased by 26 percent to 144.87 billion shillings. Net interest income for the period also rose 9.1 percent to 3.29 billion shillings.

Earnings per share rose to 5.56 shillings, from 5.53 shillings in the comparable period last year.

$1 = 98.6500 Kenyan shillings Reporting by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by James Macharia

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