Porsche predicts stable 2014 earnings

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STUTTGART (Bloomberg) -- Porsche predicts that earnings will be stable in 2014 as the sports car maker invests in U.S. and Chinese operations.

Investment spending will focus on adding distribution outlets in emerging markets, with 30 new dealerships planned for China by 2015, the manufacturer said today in a statement.

Investments in the United States will total $100 million, Porsche said, without specifying a time frame.

Porsche said operating profit rose 6 percent last year to 2.58 billion euros ($3.58 billion), and the brand's 18 percent return on sales was the highest margin of any division at Volkswagen Group.

Porsche has sustained earnings growth as demand for upscale vehicles remains unscathed by economic woes troubling the mass-market segment. Operating profit this year will be "at least" at the 2013 level, Porsche said today. "We're well prepared for the current fiscal year," Chief Financial Officer Lutz Meschke said in the text of a prepared speech.

Deliveries rise

Global deliveries at Porsche rose 15 percent to a record 162,145 cars and SUVs last year. Demand for the Boxster roadster and related Cayman sports car more than doubled in 2013 and the company rolled out fresh variants of its iconic 911.

Last month, Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller said the automaker will exceed 200,000 in annual deliveries in 2015, three years earlier than first targeted, on demand for the new Macan compact SUV, which will go on sale next month. The Macan will be Porsche’s second SUV after the Cayenne and is expected to replace the larger vehicle as the marque’s best-selling model.

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