South Africa's FirstRand Ltd on Thursday posted an 11% rise in annual profit as the bank benefitted from rising interest rates even as its bad loans rose.

Its headline earnings per share rose to 6.49 rand ($0.3458) for the year ending June 30 from 5.84 rand a year ago, the bank said.

FirstRand, the country's largest lender by market value, announced a dividend of 3.84 cents per share.

The top five private South African banks - among the continent's biggest - are generally considered well-capitalised, conservative in lending and help drive an otherwise ailing economy.

But inflation, high interest rates, regular power blackouts and logistical bottlenecks are taking a toll on its most sensitive retail and small business customers, leading to defaults.

FirstRand posted a credit loss ratio (CLR) - a measure of bad loans versus total loans - of 78 basis points, up from 56 basis points last year.

($1 = 18.7694 rand) (Reporting by Promit Mukherjee; editing by Jason Neely)