South Africa's Capitec Bank on Thursday reported a 9% rise in its half-year profit, lower growth than what it has usually been reporting for the interim period, as high inflation and elevated interest rates gnawed at earnings.

For the six months ended Aug. 31, South Africa's biggest retail bank by customer numbers, reported headline earnings per share - the country's standard profit measure - of 40.72 rand ($2.13), up from 37.38 rand posted a year ago.

Capitec Bank is among the fastest-growing South African lenders, as it targets low-income earners who were largely untapped by a slew of well-established and conservative banking behemoths of the country.

But being exposed to lower income bracket, the bank also bore the brunt of higher impairments as its customers came under strain after 10 successive interest rate hikes.

The lender said its credit impairment charge - or the loans that turned bad - for the half year rose almost by two-thirds to 4.76 billion rand.

($1 = 19.1594 rand) (Reporting by Promit Mukherjee; Editing by Tom Hogue and Eileen Soreng)