BERLIN (Reuters) -- Porsche said first-quarter operating profit rose by almost a fifth, powered by rising demand for sports cars in China, the United States and Germany.
Operating profit increased 18 percent to 528 million euros ($694 million), the Germany-based company said in a statement on Thursday. Sales gained 32 percent to 3.03 billion euros.
"The youngest and most efficient model range gives us an outstanding platform to sustain this course throughout 2012," Porsche CEO, Matthias Mueller, said in the statement.
Deliveries increased 29 percent in the first three months to 30,231 vehicles, with the Panamera sedan posting the strongest gain at 58 percent.
The Cayenne SUV, Porsche's best-selling model, accounted for 14,867 of total first-quarter sales.
For the first time, China overtook the United States to become Porsche's largest single market in the first quarter as 7099 cars were sold in the country, a rise of 79 percent.
In the same period, 6671 cars were sold in the U.S. market, a rise of 15 percent.
At home in Germany, Porsche sold 3,873 cars in the first quarter, a rise of 33 percent.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report