Porsche sees record car sales boosting 2012 profit
* First-half oper profit up 20.6 pct to 1.26 bln euros
* First-half revenue up 29.3 pct to 6.76 bln euros
* First-half profit margin eases to 18.7 pct from 20.0 pct
By Andreas Cremer
BERLIN, July 27 (Reuters) - German sports-car maker Porsche AG expects to increase its profit this year as record vehicle sales help offset high costs for model launches and factory extensions.
In the first half of 2012, operating profit rose by about a fifth to 1.26 billion euros ($1.55 billion) as sales of models such as the 911 sports car and the Cayenne SUV grew 22.5 percent to 68,940 vehicles, Stuttgart-based Porsche said in a statement on Friday.
Porsche, which is being acquired by Volkswagen, posted a 29.3 percent gain in first-half revenue to 6.76 billion euros on surging deliveries in the United States and China, its two biggest markets. Chinese sales jumped 38 percent to 15,638 vehicles between January and June.
"We're offering our customers outstanding sports cars," Chief Executive Officer Matthias Mueller said in the statement. "We can stay in the success lane even in economically difficult times."
Porsche is currently expanding its main factory in Zuffenhausen in southwestern Germany, a facility in Weissach and its second Germany-based plant in Leipzig, where production of the new Macan compact SUV will start next year.
Its first-half return on sales eased to 18.7 percent from 20.0 percent a year ago, though should stay above a target of 15 percent, finance chief Lutz Meschke said.
($1 = 0.8130 euros) (Reporting By Andreas Cremer)
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