Porsche Automobil Holding has reported record sales for the fiscal year ended 31 July "despite the general lack of buoyancy in the economic environment".

Preliminary data showed a 1.2% rise in sales to 98,652 vehicles while turnover also rose 1.3% to EUR7.46bn.

Cayenne SUV sales rose 34% to 45,478 units, a new record, after a range-wide update, and the addition of a new sporty GTS model to the line last February.

911 sales fell 16% to 31,423 but a mid-year model change was a factor, Porsche said. Boxster sales were off almost 17% at 21,747 units.

Porsche said growth continues "consistently strong in the new markets such as China and Middle East".  Sales outside the traditional markets of Germany and North America rose 6% to 52,595 units. North America volume dropped 3.1% to 32,533 units.

"Porsche has long been prepared for a possible economic crisis in the USA and has made substantial reductions in its warehouse stocks there," the automaker said.

German home market sales declined 5.5% to 13,524.

Production reached 105,162 vehicles, up 3.3% year on year, with the Leipzig plant at full capacity. Cayenne output there rose 34.1% to 48,497 units while 911 production in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen was off 12% to 34,303. Boxster production fell 16.3% to 22,356.

Group employee count rose 5.4% to 12,202 as new jobs were created mainly in research and development, in sales, in the Leipzig factory and in the two subsidiaries Porsche Consulting and the management and IT consultancy company Mieschke Hofmann und Partner.

Preparations in Leipzig for the start of Gran Turismo Panamera production added 600 new jobs.

Looking ahead, Porsche said: "It is difficult in the present economic situation to make reliable predictions about trends in the current fiscal year as a whole.

"Porsche keeps a very close eye on developments in the global markets and will continue to stay true to its strategy of producing one automobile less, rather than stockpiling one. Due to its variable production, Porsche sees itself in a position to adapt its production numbers flexibly.

"The company expects the next growth spurt when the Panamera is launched in the next fiscal year 2009/10. With this four-door, four-seater Gran Turismo, Porsche will not only be participating in the expansion of the market for luxury vehicles in the big future markets of China, the Indian subcontinent and Russia, but will also create a sensation in the traditional sales areas of Europe, North America and Japan."

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