Porsche on Tuesday said it believed the worst of the credit crunch slump was now over.

CEO Michael Macht told a Frankfurt show press conference unit sales in the latest business year to 31 July fell 24% to 75,200 units though revenues were down only 12% to an estimated EUR6.6bn.

“Although the next few months will remain difficult, we are moderately optimistic for calendar 2010”, he said.

In fiscal 2008/2009, sales of the mainstay 911 line dropped 14% to 27,100 units. Cayenne SUV sales fell 25% to 34,300 units and Boxster sales totalled 13,100 units, off 40%, which Porsche attributed to a model  change last February.

Germany sales fell 9% to about 12,300 units but North America sales dived 30% to approximately 22,700 units.

“Porsche was hit harder in that market by the effects of the dramatic economic crisis,” the automaker said.

Sales outside the two main markets fell 23% to to 40,300 units.

Production was down 27% to 76,700 units.

Nonetheless, Porsche boosted its payroll by 450 jobs to 12,652.