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Porsche Carmaking Profit Jumps 22% as Cayenne Sales Soar

Porsche Carmaking Profit Jumps 22% on Demand for Cayenne
Employees assemble a Porsche Cayenne automobile at the company's factory in Leipzig. Source: Porsche AG via Bloomberg

Porsche SE’s carmaking unit, which is 49.9 percent-owned by Volkswagen AG, said profit jumped 22 percent last year as deliveries of the Cayenne sport-utility vehicle surged.

Earnings before interest and taxes rose to 2.05 billion euros ($2.69 billion) from 1.67 billion euros a year earlier, the Stuttgart, Germany-based manufacturer said today in a statement. Sales rose 18 percent to 10.9 billion euros.

“The Cayenne is driving the healthy profit,” Frank Schwope, a Hanover, Germany-based analyst at Norddeutsche Landesbank who recommends buying Porsche shares, said by telephone. “The bigger and more expensive the car, the higher the margins.”

Backed by Volkswagen, Porsche aims to deliver 200,000 vehicles by 2018, almost double 2010 sales, as it adds 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, from the 116,978 sold last year. Demand for overhauled versions of the Boxster, which Porsche showed at the Geneva car show, and the 911 sports car may insulate the company from economic slowdowns.

Delivery Growth

Sales of the Cayenne, which starts at 57,930 euros, rose 49 percent to 59,873 vehicles last year, while deliveries of the Panamera four-door coupe increased 20 percent to 28,218 cars. The two models helped Porsche post a profit margin of 19 percent of revenue.

Porsche SE rose as much as 0.7 percent to 48.63 euros and was trading up 0.5 percent at 1:29 p.m. in Frankfurt. The stock has gained 17 percent this year, valuing the company at 14.9 billion euros.

The company sold part of the carmaking business to Wolfsburg, Germany-based Volkswagen as part of a 2009 deal to merge the two manufacturers after Porsche’s attempt to take over the larger carmaker failed. The combination has been delayed by lawsuits in the U.S. 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 Feb. 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 revaluing options it holds to buy the remainder of Porsche’s carmaking business.

Model Plans

Porsche’s model lineup will be expanded to include the Macan compact SUV in 2014. The company plans that year to 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).

The reinvigoration of the model palette means that Porsche, whose founder Ferdinand Porsche also helped design the original Volkswagen Beetle, will probably exceed its 2018 delivery target, according to analyst Schwope.

“I expect them to sell more than 200,000 units in 2018,” Schwope said. “The smaller cars that are coming aren’t as profitable, but they will increase sales numbers.”

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