GERMANY: Porsche "moderately confident"
Sportscar and luxury SUV maker Porsche said on Wednesday that it remains "moderately confident" after the first four months of its fiscal 2006/2007 year, which started on 1 August.
In a statement coinciding with its annual meeting, Porsche said its next major growth spurt won't be until 2009 when the four-door Panamera goes on sale and that it would focus on consolidation "at a high level" until then.
Revenue in the first four months of the current year was up 0.7% to EUR2.05 bn on unit sales up 0.4% to 25,850 units. 911 sales rose 8.5% while Boxster and Cayman volume rose 53.7%.
The Cayenne on its own was down 29.2% but Porsche expects a new model due in February 2007 to reverse the decline.
"However, there is no longer the same direction of development in the various market regions," the company cautioned.
"While Porsche sales in Germany are up 12.4% to 3,950 units and in the rest of the world by an even more significant 15.3% to 12,590 cars, sales in North America are down 17.6% to 9,310 units."
But it expects sales overall to be static in the new financial year as "young markets" offset falls in established markets.
The Russian dealer network will grow to 16 outlets from 10 while China shops are expanding from 12 to 20.
According to Reuters, chief executive Wendelin Wiedeking said on Wednesday that Porsche expects productivity growth of 8-10% this fiscal year at its main plant in Zuffenhausen but declined to say whether Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piech - whose family owns Porsche - should be the third Porsche representative on VW's supervisory board.
"It is not up to me" to say whether Piech, whose term on VW's board expires next year, should remain on the board, Wiedeking reportedly said.
He also added that he expects the European Court of Justice to repeal the controversial VW Law that limits the exercise of voting rights to 20%, and that Porsche would not act in concert with VW's second largest shareholder - the German state of Lower Saxony - in order to avoid launching a mandatory takeover bid for Volkswagen, the news agency added.