NAIROBI, May 28 (Reuters) - National Bank of Kenya posted on Thursday a 20 percent rise in first-quarter pretax profit to 707.28 million shillings($7 million), helped by higher interest income.
National Bank has been going through a revamp to cut overall costs as part of an effort to recover its position as one of Kenya's top three lenders, a position it last held in 1996 before poor management hurt its performance.
The bank said in a statement its net interest income rose by a fifth to 1.86 billion shillings in the period to end-March.
Net loans and advances to customers rose 48 percent to 70.05 billion shillings in the period from a year ago, it said.
Earnings per share advanced to 1.77 shillings from 1.47 shillings last year, the bank said.
The lender said earlier this year it planned to raise 13 billion shillings with a cash call to support more lending and fund operations in new markets in the region.
$1 = 98.8000 Kenyan shillings Reporting by George Obulutsa; Editing by James Macharia