LISBON, July 29 (Reuters) - Portugal's recently privatised postal service CTT posted a slightly higher than expected 14 percent rise in its first-half net profit on Tuesday as revenue in its financial services business increased by 21 percent.
Net profit rose to 36.1 million euros ($48 million), exceeding the average of analysts' forecasts of 34 million euros. Total operating revenue rose almost 2 percent to 356.5 million euros, despite a continuing decline in regular mail traffic that has been decelerating.
Express delivery and parcel service traffic rose almost 12 percent, but revenues in the segment still dipped 1 percent.
CTT's financial services business includes sales of savings products such as Treasury certificates and have been on the rise.
CTT has said it will analyse the possibility of setting up a postal bank and take a decision in the fourth quarter. Just before the privatisation last year the Bank of Portugal gave its authorisation for CTT to set up banking services if shareholders opt to do so.
CTT shares closed 2.1 percent lower at 7.54 euros before the results were announced. Its shares debuted on the Lisbon bourse in December after an oversubscribed stock offering at a price of 5.9 euros. ($1 = 0.7457 euros) (Reporting By Andrei Khalip; Editing by Greg Mahlich)