Ferrari achieved a 17.6% return on sales last year versus 15.9% in 2007. Trading profit rose 27% to EUR339m.

"This was an outstanding result in the car sector in general and is especially impressive given the very tough economic backdrop against which it was achieved, particularly in the second half of the year," the Italian maker of luxury sportscars said in a statement.

Research and development accounted for 18% of revenues in 2008.

Ferrari ended the 2008 financial year with revenues up 15.2% to EUR1.9bn. Unit sales rose 2% to 6,587 cars with North America the largest market (1,700 cars or 26%), in line with the 2007 figure, and "a particularly significant result given the economic downturn there", according to Ferrari.

Sales to eastern Europe continue to grow (23%) while deliveries to the rest of Europe were flat. Middle East and South Africa volume grew 12% to 366 cars.

Japan sales rose 15% to 433. China deliveries were up 20% to 212.