Porsche makes big money, but warns profits could evaporate
31 March 2009

Porsche has posted spectacular pre-tax profits of €7.34bn (£6.82bn) for the first half of the German financial year, which runs from August to the end of January.

The profits for the period between 1 August 2008 and 31 January 2009 compare very favourably with the €1.6bn (£1.48bn) profit that Porsche recorded for the same period the previous year.

Porsche is at pains to point out, however, that the bulk of these profits have been driven by Porsche’s cash-settled share options in VW. The contribution of these to Porsche’s balance sheets increased from €850m (£790m) in the first half of the 2007/2008 German financial year to a whopping €6.84bn (£6.36bn) for the same period a year later.

Since this contribution depends on the price of VW shares, Porsche has warned that its profits could yet evaporate by the end of the business year if VW’s share price fails to perform well.

Elsewhere Porsche’s balance sheet doesn’t look quite so rosy. Sales fell by more than a quarter in the first half year. Surprisingly, the Porsche Cayman took the biggest hit, with sales falling by more than 60 per cent to just 3950 units.

Porsche has also had to face increased development costs as it prepares to get the Panamera and hybrid Cayenne ready for market.

Matt Rigby

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