Porsche has announced a massive increase in profits in the six months to the end of January despite a 25% drop in car sales. Their net profits for the period were 5.5bn euros (£5.1bn; $7.3bn), four times higher than a year earlier. It wasn’t a bucking of the motor trade recession that did it but in many ways it profited because of it, as the increased profits were due to a big rise in the price of shares in Europe’s biggest car maker VW, which Porsche owns 50.8% of.
Late in October 2008, news that Porsche had secured access to about 74 percent of VW ordinary shares led the stock to quintuple within 48 hours to 1,000 euros per share, which briefly made VW the most valuable company in the world!
Porsche then sold a small package of VW cash-settled call options to relieve buying pressure, sparking outcries from investors that the carmaker had manipulated the market and broken securities trading laws.
German securities regulator Bafin investigated the claims and today announced that it found no evidence of wrongdoing.
Of course as Porsche pointed out, if the VW shares fall in value, the profit figure would also fall.
“The amount [contributed by VW shares] could decrease again and could, by the end of the business year, be less than the half-year amount,” it said.
A closer look at the sales figures reveals that the iconic 911 sold 13,543 units, down from 16,261 a year earlier and the Cayenne SUV sold 16,773, down from 20,638.