Porsche net income rose to 89.4 million euros ($77.7 million) in the six months ended Jan. 31, up from the company’s previous estimate for the period of 87.8 million euros. The company reported its latest figures in a statement to the Frankfurt stock exchange that was reported by Bloomberg.

The net income performance represents a gain of 29.4% over the corresponding 6-month period a year earlier, when the company managed net income of 69.1 million.

Porsche is seen as one of the auto industry’s most profitable carmakers.

The company says that strong sales of its 911 model range have boosted profitability and is upbeat on 2002 prospects, which will be bolstered by the addition of the Cayenne SUV to the line-up.

The Cayenne SUV, part of a collaborative effort with Volkswagen in which both makers spin off SUVs made at different sites, is due to be launched in the second half of 2002.

Porsche expects the Cayenne to unlock important new markets in the Middle East and South America and has said that it will sell 25,000 annually, not only doing well in traditional markets but also driving sales in relatively untapped areas.

There are also persistent rumours of a fourth Porsche model line, although nothing has been confirmed yet.