Porsche AG First Half Profits Rose 21%

Porsche AG, which is scheduled to come under the control of Volkswagen AG as early as next week, said its first-half operating profits increased 21 percent and revenue rose 29 percent; largely due to higher demand for the restyled 911 sports car.

In a statement, Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller said, “We offer our customers outstanding sports cars that live up to the highest demands. This way, we can stay in the success lane even in economically difficult times.”

Revenue for the first half reportedly reached 6.76 billion euros, and operating profit rose to 1.26 billion euros during the first six months of this year. Deliveries during the period surged in both the U.S. and China, where the automaker sold 15,638 units.

In addition to brisk sales of the 911 sports model, sales of the Cayenne SUV and Panamera sedan rose by 25 percent and 31 percent respectively.  The company has forecast a 10 percent increase in sales through the end of this year.

Earlier this month, Volkswagen Group agreed to increase its stake in Porsche SE’s sports car business from 49.9 percent to 50.1 percent for a reported 4.46 billion euros. According to Volkswagen’s CFO Hans Dieter Poetsch, the deal is expected to be finalized within the week. In 2009, Volkswagen AG assumed it near-majority stake in Porsche following Porsche SE’s unsuccessful bid to buy Volkswagen.

Porsche’s 18.7 percent first half return on sales beat VW’s 6.8 percent profit margin during the first half of this year. The takeover of Porsche is seen as a key component of VW CEO Martin Winterkorn’s highly publicized goal to unseat Toyota Motor Corp. as the world’s largest automaker. Earlier this month, Toyota reclaimed that title from General Motors Company.

Porsche expects to sell 200,000 units annually by 2018 and has plans to expand its model line by adding the Macan compact SUV, and a limited run of the 918 Spyder next year. The 918 Spyder will reportedly be the automaker’s most expensive model ever.

Porsche SE currently holds 50.7 percent of Volkswagen’s common stock and has indicated that it may invest the proceeds from the sale of its sports car business in energy trading.

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