Kenyas housing finance 2014 pretax profit down 4 pct

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NAIROBI, March 27 Kenya's Housing Finance posted a 4 percent drop in 2014 profit before tax and exceptional items to 1.42 billion shillings ($15 million), it said on Friday, recording lower non interest income in the period. The mortgage financier said earlier this week it raised 2.95 billion shillings through a cash call to expand its loan book with the aim of tapping into a fast-growing middle class in east Africa's biggest economy.

The lender said non interest income fell to 842 million shillings from 1.37 billion shillings in the prior year.

Earnings per share inched down to 4.21 shillings in the period to end December from 4.31 shillings in the previous year, the lender said, adding that it had cut the dividend per share to 1.50 shillings from 1.75 shillings in 2013.