China has overtaken the United States for the first time as the principal market for Porsche, the German sports car maker said Thursday as it released first-quarter results.
China sales surged 79 percent to 7,099 vehicles in the quarter, well ahead of the 6,671 Porsches sold to Americans. In its home market of Germany, it sold 3,873 cars.
The company is forecasting a surge in its Chinese sales in the coming months as bigger numbers of its low-slung Porsche 911 sports car introduced in December arrive in showrooms.
Stuttgart-based Porsche said its world sales and operating profit achieved fresh records in the first quarter.
Revenues rose 32 percent year on year, to 3.02 billion euros ($3.97 billion). Earnings before interest were up 18 percent to 528 million euros. The company said the slower growth in earnings was attributable to heavy investment in new plant and a development site.
Porsche shares rose 2.2 percent on the Frankfurt stock market to 46.65 euros after the figures were released.
Porsche is in the throes of being absorbed into the Volkswagen Group.
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