Chinese Sales Help Porsche Set New Record

Sales leapt 47.5%

Strong demand from China pushed sales by German luxury sports car maker Porsche up 17.9% to a new record in its 2009/2010 fiscal year, the company said on Sept. 29.

Porsche, which is being taken over by European car giant Volkswagen, said that preliminary data pointed to sales of $10.6 billion in the year that ended on July 31. Full results are to be released on October 19, a statement added.

The rise in sales was driven by expansion outside the traditional markets of Europe and North America.

As is the case with many luxury automakers, Porsche was boosted by demand in China, where sales leapt by 47.5% to 11,724 vehicles.

Worldwide, the company sold 81,850 automobiles for an annualized increase of 8.8%, including 20,615 of its latest model, the four-door Panamera.

"Porsche will continue this positive trend in the current fiscal year," chief executive Michael Macht was quoted as saying.

The company should hit its medium term sales target of 150,000 cars per year "without too much trouble" owing to a new small SUV it is developing with VW, said Frank Schwope, an analyst at the LBBW bank.

Demand has weakened meanwhile for older models such as the 911 and Cayenne sports utility vehicle, though the latter remained Porsche's most popular vehicle with 29,855 deliveries.

In addition, Schwope warned of "some obstacles along the path to a merger" with VW. He underscored complaints from U.S. investment funds that seek around two billion dollars in damages from Porsche for alleged stock price manipulation in connection with its failed takeover bid for VW.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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