FRANKFURT -- Porsche said annual profit last year rose 22 percent on continuing demand for the Cayenne sport-utility vehicle.
Earnings before interest and taxes rose to 2.05 billion euros ($2.69 billion) from 1.67 billion euros a year earlier, the carmaker said. Sales rose 18 percent to 10.9 billion euros.
"For Porsche, 2011 was the most successful financial year in the company's history, not just for sales but for revenue and operating profit as well," Matthias Mueller, the automaker's chief executive officer, said in a statement on Tuesday.
"The Cayenne is driving the healthy profit," said Frank Schwope, a Hanover, Germany-based analyst at Norddeutsche Landesbank. "The bigger and more expensive the car, the higher the margins."
Backed by Volkswagen, Porsche aims to deliver 200,000 vehicles by 2018, almost doubling the 2010 sales, as it adds new models and expands in emerging markets.
This year, the carmaker plans to increase sales to a record 140,000 cars, a person with knowledge of the matter said October 13. Last year Porsche sold 116,978 units.
Demand for overhauled versions of the Boxster, which Porsche showed at the Geneva auto show, and the 911, may help the carmaker insulate itself from economic slowdowns.
Cayenne sales surged 49 percent to 59,873 vehicles last year, while the Panamera four-door coupe increased 20 percent to 28,218 cars.
Porsche's shares have gained 17 percent this year, valuing the company at 14.8 billion euros.
In 2009, Porsche sold part of the carmaking business to Volkswagen as part of a deal to merge the two companies after Porsche's attempt to take over the larger carmaker failed.
The planned combination, which was targeted for this year, is being held up by lawsuits in the United States and Germany. The Porsche holding company, which owns a majority of VW's common shares, will report annual results March 15.
Volkswagen, Europe's largest automaker, said February 24 that operating profit surged 58 percent in 2011 to 11.3 billion euros on demand for VW and Audi sport-utility vehicles.
The carmaker's net income, which more than doubled to 15.4 billion euros, was lifted by gains from options it holds to buy the remainder of Porsche's carmaking business. It currently owns 49.9 percent.
Porsche's model lineup will be expanded to include the Macan compact SUV in 2014. 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 miles per hour).