• Regional Australian lender says full-year cash profit rose 19%
  • Bad debts charges fall; margins on specialist loans improve

Bank of Queensland Ltd., a regional Australian lender, rose the most in more than three years after posting record full-year earnings.

Shares in the Brisbane-based lender climbed 7.6 percent to A$12.49 at 12:04 p.m. in Sydney, on course for the biggest gain since March 2012. Bank of Queensland posted a 19 percent increase in cash profit, which excludes some one-off items, to A$357 million ($257 million) for the year ended Aug. 31, it said in a regulatory filing Thursday.

The lender is benefiting from improved margins in specialist loans offered to clients including doctors, accountants and financial advisers. Asset quality also improved with charges for bad and doubtful debts falling 14 percent, Bank of Queensland said.

“Overall, the result was slightly ahead of expectations but benefited from a number of one-offs which may be hard to replicate going forward,” said Omkar Joshi, an investment analyst at Watermark Funds Management, referring to items such as a reduction in liquid assets that boosted margins.

Bank of Queensland said its common equity Tier 1 ratio, a measure of its ability to absorb future losses, stood at 8.91 percent at the end of August and it will pay a final dividend of 38 cents a share in line with analyst expectations.

Shares in the lender have climbed 2.5 percent this year, compared with a 3.1 percent fall for the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index.

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