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Porsche Quadruples Profits

Credit non-traditional models.

by on Mar.18, 2011

There's reason Porsche's Panamera is on a pedestal.

Say the name, “Porsche,” and sleek sports cars like the 911, Boxster and Cayman quickly come to mind for most folks.  But for the German maker’s management – and investors – the models that matter are Cayenne and Panamera.

While purists might bristle at the idea of Porsche’s expansion into SUVs and four-door models, those non-traditional offerings are bringing major financial gains, Porsche more than quadrupling its earnings in 2010.

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And the jump from $227 million in profits for 2009 to $960 million, last year, came despite a shortened fiscal year.  Revenue for the adjusted August to December period soared 59%, to 3.87 billion Euros.

Crossover/SUVs are very definitely a part of the sports carmaker, today.  The Cayenne accounted for 20,770 sales during the 5-month fiscal “year,” while the relatively new Panamera saw a 44% jump in demand, to 9,385 during the period.

That’s not to say traditional sports cars are faring poorly.  Demand for the classic 911 surged 13%, to 6,255.

But the shift in demand is notable, and a major reason why Porsche this week gave the formal go-ahead to a second crossover/ute, the downsized Cajun, which it is developing in cooperation with Volkswagen’s Audi subsidiary. (Click Here for more on the new Cajun.)

In all, Porsche sales gained a solid 57% for the period, to 40,446. Which translates into a running rate of around 100,000 for the full year.

But clearly, the Stuttgart-based maker has bigger things in mind.  CEO Matthias Muller says his goal is to double volume, to 200,000 by 2018.

Describing Porsche’s operations as “stellar,” Deutsche Bank analyst Jochen Gehrke suggested it could deliver even better returns going forward.  The maker nonetheless has problems to deal with, he cautioned.

Its planned merger with Volkswagen AG is in jeopardy as prosecutors look at financial dealings by current and former executives following their abortive attempt to take over the bigger German carmaker.  That failed bid has left Porsche saddled with significant debt – and also generated a new lawsuit in U.S. courts.

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