Porsche Sales Fall Amid Auto Slump
STUTTGART, Germany -- German sports car maker Porsche said Wednesday it expects revenue in the four months through November to fall some 15% from a year ago as sales slump amid the global economic crisis.
In a preliminary estimate, Porsche said it expected revenue of slightly more than 2 billion euros ($2.56 billion) for the first four months of its fiscal year -- down from 2.36 billion euros in the same period last year.
It said vehicle sales likely declined to 25,200 from 30,700. Porsche plans to release precise figures for the period in mid-December.
The maker of the 911 and the Cayenne said it expected a "noticeable decline" in sales for the full fiscal year from the 2007-2008 year's 98,652 vehicles.
"Worldwide, signs of a serious slump in the automobile industry are clearly visible," Porsche said in a statement. "Particularly in the United States, the single biggest market for Porsche, possible developments in the future make it difficult to reliably calculate."
Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking declined to give a full-year profit forecast, saying that "it cannot be done reliably now."
On Monday, Porsche said it had stopped assembly lines for the day last Friday at its main plant and said it would halt production for seven more work days through the end of January to adapt to weaker demand.
Porsche reported a net profit of nearly 6.4 billion euros for the year that ended July 31, up from 4.2 billion euros it earned in the 2006-2007 year, largely because of its investment in fellow German automaker Volkswagen -- Europe's biggest car maker by sales.
Porsche said Wednesday it is standing by its target of building up its stake in Volkswagen to 75% next year. However, Wiedeking signaled Porsche may not exceed the 50% ownership mark by the end of this year as it had planned.
"In view of the current economic environment, it is becoming increasingly unlikely that we will reach this target in this calendar year," he said.
Porsche already holds more than 40% of Volkswagen and has effective control over the company.
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