BERLIN -- Porsche said nine-month profit rose 25 percent on demand for its best-selling Cayenne SUV.
Operating profit rose to 1.51 billion euros ($2.14 billion) from 1.21 billion euros a year earlier, the automaker said Friday in a statement. Sales rose 20 percent to 7.93 billion euros.
Porsche's 19 percent profit margin is "outstanding" compared with other high-end carmakers, said Daniel Schwarz, a Frankfurt-based analyst with Commerzbank. "Porsche's product cycle is very positive and will help offset potential headwinds from the economy."
Backed by Volkswagen, which owns 49.9 percent of the automaker, Porsche aims to double deliveries to at least 200,000 vehicles by 2018 as it adds new models and expands in emerging markets.
The carmaker plans to increase sales to a record 140,000 autos in 2012, a person with knowledge of the matter said Oct. 13.
Demand for overhauled versions of the 911 and Boxster may help the carmaker insulate itself from a slowing economy. Porsche projected "significantly" higher operating profit and sales for the full year.
Sales of the Cayenne SUV surged 74 percent to 43,924 vehicles in the first nine months, while the Panamera four-door coupe increased 6 percent to 18,750 cars.
A planned merger of Volkswagen and Porsche, which was targeted for this year, is being held up by lawsuits in the U.S. and Germany. The Porsche holding company, which owns 51 percent of Volkswagen, has yet to report third-quarter results.
Volkswagen, Europe's largest automaker, said yesterday that third-quarter operating profit surged 46 percent to 2.89 billion euros on demand for VW and Audi SUVs. The carmaker's net income, which more than tripled to 7.04 billion euros, was lifted by gains from reevaluating options it holds to buy the remainder of Porsche's carmaking business.
The Porsche unit, which relies on the Cayenne for half of deliveries, plans to increase production of its best-selling model by 10 percent to 20 percent starting in January. Demand for the SUV, which includes a Turbo version costing 121,000 euros, led to waiting lists as long as 12 months in markets including China.
Sales of the revamped 911 will start in December. Deliveries of the sports car fell 12 percent to 13,777 vehicles in the first nine months.
Demand for the Boxster roadster, which is slated for an overhaul in the first half of 2012, slipped 1 percent to 9,421 vehicles, including the hard-top Cayman.
Porsche's model lineup will be expanded to include a compact SUV by 2013. In the same year, the company will add a limited series of the 918 Spyder hybrid, a 500-horsepower vehicle with a V8 engine and electric motors that has a top speed of 320 kilometers per hour (200 mph).