Porsche expects record year on China, U.S. demand
VW-owned brand confident after 23% leap in nine-month profit
FRANKFURT -- Porsche said it expects a record year in 2012 after reporting a 23 percent jump in nine-month operating profit to 1.88 billion euros ($2.44 billion), driven by robust demand from China and the United States and strong sales of the Cayenne SUV and the new-generation 911 sports car.
"We have almost matched the results of the entire previous year after only nine months in 2012," said Chief Financial Officer Lutz Meschke in a statement on Thursday.
"We definitely expect to outperform the 2011 record year in terms of sales, revenue and operating profit. That's an excellent result seen against the backdrop of the ever cloudier market environment in western Europe,'' he said.
Porsche said nine-month revenue increased 28 percent to 10.15 billion euros.
Sales at the German sports car maker, which became Volkswagen's twelfth brand in August, increased in all global markets, including Europe, but growth was strongest in the United States and China, which together accounted for nearly half of the brand's nine-month deliveries.
Total global deliveries between January and September climbed 20.2 percent to 103,245 vehicles on demand for the updated 911 sports car, which surged 39.8 percent. Sales of the Cayenne SUV climbed 24.9 percent, while the Panamera four-door sedan rose 15.8 percent. Demand for the new Porsche Boxster, introduced in April, rose 3.3 percent.
''With an operating profit margin of 18.5 percent being achieved, Porsche AG is taking a pole position in the automotive industry," said Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller, in the statement.
Porsche has forecast deliveries to rise at least 10 percent this year. The company forecasts higher profit even as it increases spending on new models.
China sales led growth for the automaker in the first three quarters, with a rise of 35.4 percent, followed by the United States, where deliveries increased 22.1 percent.
Porsche's European sales rose 13.2 percent in the first nine months. In Germany, the automaker sold 14.2 percent more cars in the same period, while Russian sales grew by almost 70 percent.
Backed by new parent Volkswagen Group, Porsche plans to more than double annual sales to 200,000 vehicles by 2018. The brand will expand its lineup with the Macan compact SUV, which goes into production in 2013. It will also add the 918 Spyder, a limited-run hybrid super car that will be Porsche's most expensive model when deliveries start late next year.
Porsche said its production rose 18.4 percent in the first nine months to 111,076 vehicles. In the same period, Porsche's workforce has grown by 11.5 percent to 17,066.
Reuters contributed to this report
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