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Porsche's August-November Sales Up

Luxury automaker Porsche's sales in the first four months of its fiscal year were up nearly half a percent thanks to demand for its 911 and Boxster models, but the company said Wednesday it anticipated little growth until it releases its new Panamera in 2009.

The Stuttgart-based company, the world's most profitable automaker, said sales in the August-November period rose 0.4% with 25,850 cars sold, including 10,350 911s and 7,750 Boxster and Cayman models. Sales of its sport utility vehicle, the Cayenne, were down 29.2 percent to 7,740 in the four-month period.

"Considering fluctuations in the markets, discount battles and political restraints, Porsche remains moderately confident in the 2007 year of business," the company said. "However, Porsche will not in any way deviate from the company's clearly profit-oriented -- and not volume-oriented -- business policy."

Porsche, which nearly doubled its full-year profit to 1.4 billion euros ($1.87 billion) from 779 million euros a year earlier on improved sales and a mix in its model offerings, has always favored profit over flooding its market with models.

The company also said it expected sales through 2007 and 2008 to remain slow, but predicted that the debut of its Panamera, a four-door sports coupe, which would lift those figures as its "next major thrust in growth."

Porsche has also moved to increase its stake in automaker Volkswagen AG to a level just shy of the 30% threshold that would require it to make a takeover offer, which it reiterated it is not planning to do.

The Porsche board authorized an increase to 29.9% from 27.4%. Porsche is already Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen's biggest shareholder.

The move will give Porsche more say in how Europe's biggest automaker is run. VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech's family controls Porsche.

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