Porsche reports sales jump, retains high-profit ranking

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German luxury sports car maker Porsche, which is being taken over by Volkswagen, reported on Friday an 11.8-percent jump in nine-month sales and retained its status as a leading profit-machine in the global auto industry.

Porsche said operating profit came to 600 million euros (744 million dollars) in the period from August through April, the first three quarters in its fiscal year, while sales climbed to 5.22 billion euros.

Its profit margin remained above 10 percent, meaning it is still one of the most profitable auto manufacturers in the world.

Unit sales were stable meanwhile at 53,605 vehicles, a statement said.

The results concerned Porsche AG, which is 49.9-percent owned by Volkswagen and handles the construction of models such as the 911, Cayenne and new Panamera.

The holding group Porsche SE, which in turn owns 32.2 percent of the shares in Volkswagen, Europe's biggest carmaker, marked a pause meanwhile in its debt reduction programme.

On April 30, the holding company had debt of six billion euros, compared with 6.1 billion at the end of January.

When the holding company's 2008-2009 financial year ended on July 31, it was burdened with 11 billion euros in debt.

Porsche intends to raise at least 2.5 billion euros in fresh capital in the first half of 2011, the last stage before the car unit it is taken over by VW and becomes that group's 10th brand.

VW is expected to pay 3.9 billion euros for Porsche.

© 2010 AFP

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