BERLIN – Porsche AG reported a first-quarter profit gain after a revamp of the Cayenne boosted demand for the SUV.
Earnings before interest and tax "more than doubled" to 496 million euros ($728 million), the automaker said in a statement Wednesday, without providing a year-earlier figure. Sales rose 10 percent to 2.28 billion euros.
Luxury-car makers, including BMW AG and Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz, are anticipating record demand this year, boosted by growing wealth in China and rebounding spending in the U.S.
Porsche, which is combining with Volkswagen AG, aims to double global sales to around 200,000 cars by 2018 by adding models such as a compact SUV and increasing sales in emerging markets.
The Cayenne, Porsche's best-selling model, increased sales 62 percent to 11,487 vehicles in the first quarter following the introduction last year of the third generation of the model. Deliveries of the four-door Panamera fell 5.5 percent to 4,715, while the 911 sports car declined 17 percent to 4,750.
Porsche released first-quarter results for the first time after shifting to calendar-year reporting to align its operations with VW. Porsche's fiscal year previously ended on July 31.
Porsche SE, which sold 49.9 percent of the car-making business to VW, raised 4.9 billion euros in a rights offering earlier this month. The share sale will be used to cut debt and facilitate the merger with VW.
The two companies agreed to merge in 2009 after Porsche racked up more than 10 billion euros in debt in its failed effort to gain control of VW.
Porsche SE holds 51 percent of VW's voting shares. The merger, which was slated for the second half, will probably be delayed until next year because of German legal obstacles, including an investigation into share-price manipulation allegations, Porsche said Feb. 23.