Provisional data shows that sportscar maker Porsche will post a pre-tax group profit for the first six months of the current 2006/07 fiscal year (1 August 2006 - 31 January 2007) of EUR1.45bn, up from EUR277.8m in the same period last year.

The after-tax profit is EUR1.05bn, up from EUR169.8m, Porsche president and chief executive officer Wendelin Wiedeking told the annual general meeting.

The gain is partly due to a better sales model mix but mostly the result of one-off gains from Porsche's investment in Volkswagen.

"Stock price hedging proceeds in conjunction with the acquisition of VW stock, for example, amounted "to a substantial figure in the three-digit million- euro range," the company said.

Re-valuation of Porsche's share in VW common stock, now amounting to 27.4%, contributed EUR520m.

The re-valuation was necessary to reflect the significant increase in the value of the company attributable to the increased value of VW stock. This re-valuation is however a single, non-recurring effect, Porsche noted.

Development costs of the four-door Panamera sports coupé due out in 2009 also accounted for a "three-digit million euro figure".

The consolidated accounts consider only the result of VW's third quarter in 2006, since the figures for the final quarter are not yet available. These will be accounted for in Porsche's full year results.

The model changeover to the new Cayenne hit revenue in the first six months with a decrease of 2.9% to EUR3.02bn, with sales dropping by 5.9% to 39,750 units. These included 10,225 units of the Cayenne, a decrease by 39.8%.

Production of the first generation ended in November and the new Cayenne will not be introduced in Europe and Asia until 24 February, with introduction to North America on 3 March. Porsche's global sales figures will consequently show a decline in January and February.

Sales of the 911 rose 15.7% to 17,340 units while Boxster and Cayman combined rose 21.5% to 12,170 units.

The distribution of sales by regions shows how difficult the US market has become, Porsche noted: North America sales were down 19.2% to 14,570 units, while in Germany sales were up 0.9% to 5,540 units, in the rest of the world by 5.0% to 19,640 units.

Porsche now feels more optimistic for the full year and expects comparable year on year sales thanks to growth in eastern Europe and Asia. Chinese sales are expected to double from 1,920 units.

"The pace of development in these markets is limited by the availability of qualified service and sales personnel which has to be recruited and appropriately trained," the automaker noted.

Assuming there are no surprises with VW or with the VW stock price, Porsche is confident of achieving the previous year's profit result of EUR2.1bn this fiscal year.