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Porsche races ahead with first-half profit

Rolling in it: Porsche hopes vehicles such as the recently launched Macan compact SUV will help it hit similar numbers to last year, despite the constant cost pressures on the brand.

More cars, higher revenue and fat profit mark Porsche’s first-half result

1 Aug 2014

GERMAN sportscar-maker Porsche shown that, as well as making more vehicles than ever before, it is also making more money.

The company revealed overnight that it has built 87,803 vehicles in the first six months of this year alone, an eight percent jump over the same period last year as it targets even more sales of its showroom products.

Revenue for the first half, meanwhile, shot up 16 percent to €8.2 billion ($A11.8 billion), while net profit jumped eight percent to €1.4 billion ($A2b), equivalent to a return on sales of 17 percent.

Porsche now employs more people than it has in its 80-plus-year history, with the headcount now numbering 21,326, or 3178 more than 12 months ago.

However, things are not all rosy, with the car-maker saying the biggest threat to its success would continue to be its expenses.

"The resulting depreciation (relating to its Strategy 2018, a program to keep the car-maker’s profits high) and rising labor costs put an ever increasing strain on our results,” Porsche Finance and IT board member Lutz Meschke said.

“Add to this the very high expenditure for research and development, in particular in connection with reducing fleet carbon emissions," he said.

Despite the challenges, Mr Meschke said Porsche aimed to achieve at least the same level of results in fiscal year 2014 as in the previous year – a €2.4 billion ($A3.4b) result.

Porsche said it would continue to work on increasing sales in key single markets including the United States, China and Germany, as well as raising its overall sales figures worldwide.

Porsche sales in Australia over the first six months of this year were well above the German car-makers production increase, with sales up 47 percent over the first half last year, following a strong end-of-financial-year run-out for the brand in June.

Sales of its recently updated Cayman coupe are more than double for the same period last year, while the Cayenne mid-size SUV and 911 coupe range continue to outpace the market.

Porsche also released its Macan compact SUV in Australia last month, with customer demand expected to outstrip supply as owners jump behind the wheel of the cheapest Porsche-badged car on the market.

Despite soft passenger car sales, the high-end sports car segment is showing healthy signs, with sales in the $80,000-plus segment up more than 33 per cent on the first six months of last year, helped in part by Porsche’s strength.

Despite flat sales in the $200,000-plus segment, the 911 sports car is the only single model alongside Jaguar’s ageing XK coupe to grow sales in the segment against the likes of Audi’s R8, the BMW 6 Series and Mercedes-Benz’s SL-Class.

However, rival Lamborghini is expected to get a lift in its slow sales with the arrival of the Gallardo-replacing Huracan, which is scheduled to go on sale in Australia this month.

Porsche’s sales leap in Australia is attributable to wholesale price cuts across the brand that were introduced in April last year after a company-wide decision to trade off a bit of the brand’s exclusivity for higher volumes.

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